Mid day Friday I borrowed Mom and Doc’s* urban assault vehicle truck so that I could buy an outdoor shed. I located exactly the shed I’d wanted on Craigslist and popped an email out to Gladys (the lady who listed it for sale). The emails were brief and to the point. At the appointed hour, with my Latina friend I hopped into the truck to retrieve my new (and cheap) shed.
Trust me when I tell you that this is going somewhere and that the Latina description matters.
I’d agreed to the $250 price tag, and Gladys reminded me to bring small bills. She doesn’t like 50’s and hundreds. Red flag? For a more astute woman, yes. For me, notsomuch.
Maya and I hopped into the car and headed up the 405 all the way to the 118. As I was turning into the driveway in Doc’s truck Maya looked at me and said, “the car’s too expensive. She’s going to want more money.”
Oy! Maya is usually right about people too. I park the car in the driveway, count out $250 and jam it in my pocket, not one extra penny is in there. We approach the front door and hear the television blaring. When Gladys finally comes to the door I’m absolutely mesmerized. Gladys might be 60 with black and silver hair that hangs to her waist, she’s wearing shorts and crocs, there is blood gushing down her leg from mid-calf to ankle, but that’s not the most remarkable thing.
Gladys has pendulous breasts that sway as we talk. I find myself staring at her seemingly nipple-less breasts that reach her waist and end as abruptly as her hair. I’m certain that Gladys thinks there was a suburban lesbian couple undressing her with their eyes. I’m the owner of a pair of natural breasts, released from the confines of a sturdy bra, they look a little different than when they began, but I don’t imagine other women would be so taken with them. I still don’t have words for Gladys and two cantaloupes that appeared to be hanging from a set of socks. I know I stared, I wondered, you would have too. They were unlike anything I’d seen before.
I was dumbfounded, slackjawed, rude and terrified. I think it’s a well established fact that I’m a bit of a narcissist. If Gladys is my future, I’ll have a bra surgically attached to my body. Truly, it was frightening.
Maya and I followed Gladys around to her side yard. We walked past dozens of bottles of chlorine and acid for the swimming pool as well as stacks of empty two litre bottles.
Mira, Maya whispered.
Yo sabe, I whispered back.
We got to the shed, it was in it’s original box and leaned up against the concrete block wall.
“Here it is”, Gladys said, “I don’t think you two can lift it yourselves.”
Uh yeah, Gladys we totally can. As Maya and I each grabbed one side of the box and lifted the odor of cat urine wafted up and attacked our noses simultaneously. We dropped the box together, in an unspoken pact, we weren’t taking it anywhere, not one inch.
“Jessica es muy susio.”(Jessica, it’s very dirty) Maya said.
“Si, es no bien en el carro.” (Yes it’s no good in the car) I replied.
“Dice a ella tu no habla engles” (Tell her you don’t speak English) Maya said.
“Si pero yo solo sabe pocos palabras en espanol.” (Yes, but I only know a few words of Spanish)
“Tcch, habla muy rapido. Ella no comprende nada.” (Tcch, speak quickly. She won’t understand anything)
And we did. El cielo es amarillo y los gatos tienen comida por la noche. (The sky is yellow and the cats have food for the night) We babbled and giggled and acted like a couple of shits while pretending we couldn’t lift the box or speak any English. We practically bowed and apologized and said “No espeake de engles” as we backed out of the yard.
I’ve ordered a shed online. Free delivery.
*Doc is my Mom’s husband, I strongly suspect he spends a good bit of his day wondering how/why he married into this group.