Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Through the kitchen door at Gloria's
As she sliced more lemons, limes and oranges for iced tea, she heard two sharp knocks at the back door, then watched the knob turn. The gentlemen callers, Mr. Guscott and Mr. Apotienne, explained it seemed wiser, perhaps less disruptive to look for her in the kitchen rather than enter through the front of the shop. Squeezing between tables would have thrust them into the maelstrom and caused, most likely, a lot of silly guessing as to their purpose. For a moment appearing almost as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, quite smart and not at all silly in their not-too-musty-or-mothballish first-choice shirts, they announced in unison,"We found this for you," held out the tissue wrapped object - Mr. Vetter was most accommodating - and Mr. Guscott added, "We have nearly lost our wits. If there is a parade, we will probably end up in feathers, throwing beads to the crowd. Our compasses and barometers have become useless relics. We thought this might suit you."
Since Mr. Guscott got to make the speech, Mr. Apotienne was the obvious candidate to hand Gloria her surprise. With a nod of thanks and a wistful look, just for a moment to the summer world beyond the kitchen door, she turned back the tissue to reveal the under sea pattern, shook out the shirt to see it whole. The prominent starfish, all its leggies intact, stood out near the right front hem where it seemed to shine with an inner light that reached into the printed water outside its shape. Fish, crabs, other shelled and tentacled and finned creatures appeared to cavort with slow purpose in the shirt's lagoon water.
"If I'm not the grandest tiger in the jungle in this, I will be very close. Thank you," Gloria told them. "It's perfect."