Maria’s Hopes and Dreams

Last night I reunited with Kenzie! Kenzie is one of my favorite people on the whole planet. We have loose plans to live on the beach and write on rice for a living once she graduates. A degree is clearly essential. Did you know that people actually pay money for rice jewelry? It’s crazy, right?! I mean what could be more cush than setting up a kiosk on a boardwalk somewhere, and writing really tiny on rice while sipping pina coladas and wearing flip flops every day! It’s a pipe dream that’s close to my heart.

During dinner, another exciting business venture was proposed to us. Now, to be fair, outside the pub Kenzie recognized this crazy and warned me I was not to invite conversation with her AT ALL. Obviously, I was going to talk to this woman at length. It was inevitable.

From what I had overheard of the woman’s unsolicited conversations with other unsuspecting bar patrons during dinner she had mentioned the Reagan administration, her civil war connections, Clinton’s impeachment, and the amount of mercury in lead hats within a five minute time frame. I turned to Kenzie,

“Wow, she’s travelling through time and place pretty rapidly.”

“No shit. Do not talk to her Natasha!”

Though, talk to her I would! As I finished my tuna melt I noticed her making her way to our corner. The time had come. She was middle aged, had frenzied frizzy hair, and immediately started rubbing her stretchy nylon gloves across our arms,

“Hey girls! I’m ‘Maria’.”

“I’m Kenzie.” She continued to face forward, still hoping our dinner conversation could survive this intrusion.

“Natasha.”

“I think I’ve seen you before!” She looked at my friend with murky familiarity. Kenzie had been close friends with the woman’s son for eight years, ” Natasha! Who are you! Where are you from!”

“I went to school here but I live in Pittsburgh now.”

“Oh yeah? What do you do?”

“Sales.”

“Ohhhh. Look at these gloves girls. They’re about twenty bucks and feel how soft they are!” She pulled them up to her elbows. They

the spark

were formal looking gloves in terms of length and form, but blue green speckled and polyester. I couldn’t imagine purchasing them.

“Very nice!”

“Thank you! And when it’s twenty degrees out here I just hate the damn cold so I put these on! They’re so nice!” Maria was still showcasing them to us Vanna White stye.

That’s when she noticed my purse hanger Lindsey had given me  for Christmas. It’s essential for bar time, enabling me to bring my big expensive purse out without risking the dirt on the floor or getting robbed while it’s slung behind my chair. It really is a great gift, but Maria thought I had discovered electricity.

She wanted to know where I had gotten it. Since it was a gift, I suggested google. She asked if any stores in town had them, I said I didn’t know. That’s when the idea hit her… we were going to start selling them ourselves. She wanted to “import” them and sell them to the local stores, take a cut, and swim gleefully around in our profits like Scrooge McDuck.

She ran off to get pen and paper so we could exchange information. Kenzie and I discussed the level of awkward things were getting with our neighbors on adjacent stools. They were completely on the same page, having had the polyester gloves rubbed against their faces as well. We paid our checks and booked it out the door. We hadn’t made it an entire block when Maria burst out of the pub, bellowing,

“Natasha! Natasha! Sorry I took so long writing this down!” Now I felt like a total asshole, but I didn’t want the responsibility of having her information. I didn’t want her waiting for my email to get the ball rolling on this project. I have only worked in sales for two days! I don’t have the magic it takes to make a readily available product a smashing monetary success in the locally owned businesses of small-town hippie Shepherdstown! It was too much pressure!

She thrust a wrinkled paper menu in my hand and explained that she no longer had a phone, but this was her PO box, residential address, and email. Email contact would work best for her. She was excited to work with me.

Strawberry Shortcake Martini! Yum!

Immediately we headed to the Yorkshire for a change of scenery. I needed some martinis and a one on one process group to deal with the burden of Maria’s hopes and dreams. Kenzie shared our experience with her wide network of townie contacts who know Maria well. I was assured she would not remember to wait for my email.

Our conversation then returned to normal. We discussed the prospect of living our last year on Earth and the credibility of the Mayans. Personally, I’m pretty excited about the prospect of not having to live up to my potential. A complete and total apocalypse is such an easy out! Other topics covered: not being into sports besides Brian Wilson, bearded men, and all humiliating mishaps we had encountered since our last meeting.

Catching up with friends is so good for the soul :)

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