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Posted on Tue, Aug 17, 2010 11:52

About a year ago, I was working in a shop, selling rugs, jewlery and other gift items imported from Turkey. Nobody thinks a thing of you when you're a shop girl. You're just the sweet and friendly girl who climbs up on a ladder in heels to take plates off the wall, who fastens the claps on difficult bracelets and who swipes the credit card when it's all said and done. Nobody considers that you might be a student, struggling through a Master's degree who is fortunate enough to have an instructor who owns a shop and is willing to employ you, even if it is for peanuts. Likewise nobody seems to notice that you also work at the coffee shop up the street, that you had made them a latte in the morning only to sell them earings in the afternoon. And certainly nobody considers you might be turning them into characters for a story to amuse yourself, pass the time and entertain your goddaughter.

One day, a skinny fellow walked in blue-jean bib-overalls. Two young children trailed behind him. He walked straight up to one of the large blue glass lanterns that hung in the window and after some negotiation decided to buy it. He explained that he was planning a trip down the Sciota River and that he needed a lantern to hang on his canoe. Can you imagine seeing the candle-lit glow of an Ottoman lantern traveling down an American river in the middle of the night? You'd have to rub your eyes and make sure you weren't dreaming.

The shop had its regulars. There were the old men who came in just to talk. The drag queens looking for some new bling. The coupes out on a romatic walk. The bored housewives. The students. The just-in-from-out-of-towners. And of course there were the thieves and vagrants. Those were by far my favorite.

It was me, my boss and his son, who was 7 at the time, hanging out. A man poked his head in the door and asked if any of us would like a shoe-shine. No thanks, we all replied, we can shine them ourself. Your mama'd be proud of you, he said and then started to sing in voice that'd put Paul Robeson (Ol' Man River) to shame. "Keep singing, keep shining, cause I'm the shoe-shiner! Remember me!" And I did!



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Posted on Wed, Aug 18, 2010 00:35

Good story....thank you for sharing :)

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Posted on Tue, Aug 17, 2010 12:22

nice one there...is this this a true life story

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