Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bread Lady

I was browsing the rack of day-old baked goods at the supermarket, looking for a cheap loaf of bread, when I heard a gravelly shriek from behind me.


The speaker was an old woman in a humongous sunhat that looked so silly on her tiny body I almost laughed out loud.

“Yeah, that’s what I’m looking for,” I told her.

And she began clawing through the rack of food.

“Oh, HERE we go!” she screamed, bringing several loaves up from the bottom shelf. This woman had the biggest mouth, both figuratively and literally, and the feature was even more pronounced because of her bright red lipstick. She smiled a smile that stretched back to her ears and handed me a fancy bread with lots of grains. “You take this one. Trust me, it’s the BEST. SO HEALTHY.”

I thanked her and started to walk away with the bread. From behind me she called out again.

“Look at THIS.” She was holding up some danishes. “$1.79! One a day, with your morning COFFEE. I’m not a coffee drinker.” And put them back on the shelf.

I love this woman.

I would have forgotten all about her, but three hours later I got on the bus and there she is, flapping her enormous red lips at anyone and everyone nearby.

"Weatherman LIED to me. 'Cooler today than yesterday.' LIAR."

I tried really hard to figure out a way to take her picture without her noticing, feeling like Harriet the Spy. It didn’t work out. Someday.

“Finally learned the TRUTH. No one goes to the MOVIES anymore, ‘cause there ARE NO MOVIES! Not for TWENTY YEARS.”

She didn't stop talking the whole time she was on the bus. When we arrived at her stop in front of a hospital, she tried unsuccessfully to convince the driver to pull around to a side door for her. She stood up to exit the bus, and jabbed a bony finger into the chest of a young boy standing in front of the door.

“YOU. Outta my way. I’m going in for SURGERY.”

Then, as she debarked, to the small crowd waiting to board the bus:

“Coming THROUGH. Going in for SURGERY.”

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