Three Women

Her cart was in the middle of the aisle. Her boyfriend said ‘hi’ to me. I mumbled a reply, not even words, really. That cart was in my way. She stared at me. I navigated my cart between hers and the shelves. She did not move.

///

She was wiping down the gas pumps while I pumped gas. I said ‘hi’ just as squatted down to continue her work. She looked up, smiled, and asked how I was. An honest smile. I returned her smile with my own and wished I said hello while she was standing.

///

I had the expectation that she might not be friendly. She had disappeared when I entered the store. She was friendly. My hair was messy. Hers was not. We talked about wildflowers, clothing, Ocean City, Maryland, and paying the rent. She asked if the shopping was good in New Jersey. I said no. We both wished we had longer torsos.