Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Gary and Maude and the scarf...
Much of this story is true :)*
Gary sees this blue flash on the snowbank and he is thinking “Cashmere???” He fishes this wet and muddy thing out of the sloppy mess and holds it up. Wet, sure, but muddy? Not as bad as you would think. Pretty clean, actually, for a stray scarf on the ground in a February thaw.
Looking closer, Gary reads “Burberry, 100% lambs wool” and lets out a prolonged “yessssssss…” He figures, five minutes in the sink with a bar of soap followed by a few hours hung over the heater and he’s got Valentine’s Day wrapped up.
Maude's mom comes down on the weekend for lunch and cackles gleefully “In my day, Broome Street was a good place to get mugged or maybe find a Chinese fish wholesaler. Now you have a vegan bakery!”
Maude glumly chases the crumbs across her napkin with her finger in that very same vegan bakery, admitting “Mom, the damn yuppies are winning!” thinking to herself “I would hate Brooklyn, Queens is worse, but next month the rent goes up to 2200—ON BROOME STREET!”
Maude and her mom step out into weak February sun which looks a whole lot less weak than January sun and step over the piles of slush and semi-frozen dog turds and walk past the ever-stanky Chinese fish wholesalers….not all of them are gone.
“Your coffee is better, but I have never had a better vegan donut in my life”
Maude agrees with her mom “I know, probably the ONLY vegan donut you have ever had though. The best thing about living here, for sure.”
Maude kisses her mom goodbye outside the Starschmucks on Spring Street.
“The yuppies killed Soho, believe me”
To which Maude sighs and says “Love you mom, see you next month” and goes around back to get her green apron. The yuppies may have won in Soho, but there are still plenty of hobos spending the day warm inside with the jazz soundtrack and comfy chairs.
Gary checks the scarf that afternoon, having found that blue patterns don’t show stains. Then again, maybe wool doesn’t stain very easily? Gary remembers an ad: “QUALITY never goes out of style” Having seen this scarf in Bloomie’s window last month, what was it, 125, 135? More? Either way, it has dried by now, and it is long, fluffy, fresh, gorgeous. Maude will love it, and with red tulips from the deli, he figures he has Valentine’s Day NAILED. There’s only 6 bucks in his pocket, so he’s within budget. New York magazine had an article last month. All these young starving artists in the city, working at the coffee shops or Whole Foods, no money, but sex is still free. Not too glamourous, living in the most exciting city on earth, eating ramen, roommates always in the bathroom, no time or energy for the art, but here was Gary, loving Maude, gonna give her the cutest lambs wool scarf EVER.
Dark at 6, Maude finished for the day, perfumed like a walking coffee been. Freezing wind off the river, but only 8 blocks walk home. They had split the tips jar and Maude got 12 bucks in quarters and nickels, pretty good for a Sunday. Maude knows that 12 will pay for ironic and retro, definitely not anything luxurious, and makes a stop. A box of 64 crayolas (sharpener in back! Just like when we were 5!) and a pad of paper is only 9, 10 with tax, SCORE! Maude pulls her collar up against the wind, and heads home happy, ready for Valentine’s.
copyright 2011 by Gary Edward Rith
This story can stand alone as it is or check parts 2-7, posted May 13 and 14 :)
*the locations and bakery are real, you can see the scarf is real, our younger days were indeed much as described, but we lived in Chicago--and visited Broome St several times this past year. The wife wrote a story for a class about a couple who finds a scarf, and the girl is not very nice to the guy, and you don't really like the girl much at all. I wanted to do a lovey dovey version :)
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