An old lady stood looking up at the smoothie sign. I asked what I could get for her. "Now, you start with some kind of pre-made base, right?" "It's actually just fruit," I said. "Ah, yes, that's preferable. I'll take orange-strawberry-banana, with ginger, please."
I washed my hands and started mincing. We were listening to DeVotchKa, and I couldn't help but sway and dip just a little bit while I peeled the ginger. I flipped on the blender and under its deafening roar grinned back at the woman, who winked at me. When it was through, I handed it to her, and she thanked me not just for the smoothie, but for dancing. "It always makes it foamier," she said. There is a certain set of writers who are fond of dancing and reputed to live in Portland -- I was perfectly convinced she must be one of them, and felt my dancing knees go weak.
The line of melon-laden customers had backed up a bit, so I hurried over to the register just in time to ring in her smoothie purchase. How my fingers stuttered on the keys! She carefully counted out a pile of change.
"It gets me held up in airport security," she laughed. "But you know, coins can be used as brass knuckles, so perhaps it's a legitimate security concern."
Curious, "Do you know how?"
"Oh no. Any weapon could more easily be used against me. What's most important is the eyes." As if to elucidate, she added, "They cannot harm you if you don't believe they can. I suppose you know 'parsley' is misspelled on that sign? The lettering is beautiful -- I see why you wouldn't wouldn't want to change it."
"Yes, and I think the sign has an 'o' in 'spirulina,'" I said to show off. We laughed and said goodbye and as carefully as she counted change, she made her way across the parking lot. I was watching.