The mornings have always been the best time of the day for me.
Something about the freshness, the sharpness of the light before the daily confusion gets into full swing.
At the time, the only thing I really liked more than the mornings was being stoned in the mornings.
Seemed like the world and everything in it took on a new look, a new reason for being.
There was no doubt that she had met and held my gaze as we smiled at each other just a few minutes before.
She was short, cute, and wearing an expensive looking fur coat in Kroger at 7am: that’s all I knew.
I had been wandering around the store hoping to remember what I had came for when I first saw her leaning over the meat counter.
Unable to remember why I was there I returned to my truck, started the engine, put the transmission into gear, when a definite thought came through loud and clear.
DON’T GO! Go back in there and check out the woman in the red plaid knee shorts. The one with the expensive looking fur coat – in Kroger – on Saturday morning?
So, I did.
As I re-entered the doors this time, I had a purpose, and I remembered what it was.
I had only strolled past a couple of aisles when I saw her again.
There she was, halfway down an aisle with her back to me, in front of the magazine rack, half leaning on a grocery buggy, and deep into a magizine she held in front of her face.
The hat was black with a full brim that rolled about a half a turn all the way around.
Dark brown hair sort of pooching out over the collar of her coat.
I was on a mission.
I had no idea what I would say, or what I would find out when I got to her, but I was driven.
Just at the moment I reached her, she turned and looked at me.
There was the biggest smile you’ve ever seen.
I couldn’t believe it. It was as if she had been expecting my return.
It wasn’t the smile that strangers flash as they pass each other in the grocery store.
Oh no. This smile was warm and welcoming. I could hear the smile say ” I’m so glad you came back to get me. “
Immediately I recognized that we were both about the same age. In our middle forties.
She was a short woman, 5 feet, 5 feet something? I don’t remember, but something like that.
“She is really cute”, was my first thought, but what in the world happened to her lipstick?
Bright red, some on her lips, some kind of around her lips. Must have been on a rocky road on the way to Kroger that morning when she was trying her best to steady a lipstick tube?
As we spoke the first lines of what ever it is you speak to strangers when you first meet, something else kept grabbing my attention.
I heard her say “you came back”, while she was laughing and laughing the easiest, and most comforting laugh.
She was down right cute. Like when you see the cutest little puppy, and your heart wants to reach out to it.
But there was way too much makeup on, and not straight. Like she put it on during a wrestling match or something.
But the real attention grabber was that one of her beautiful brown eyes was looking at me while the other seemed to be more like a search light that keeps revolving around in circles.
Yea, one was looking at me, the other seemed to me more interested in the magazines at first, then down the aisle behind me, then the floor, then the ceiling.
We were talking, having a conversation as if we already knew each other, but I couldn’t hear it, I couldn’t stay focused?
I had never seen anything quite like this?
How could I pay attention with one sparkling brown eye looking at me, and the other taking in all of the sites of the store?
I couldn’t stand it any more. Something had to be done? Something had to be said, questioned, but what?
“Excuse me, but what in the hell is wrong with your eye?”