|My friend, Tammy.|
As we browse, instead of turning to fisticuffs over the same prime merchandise, our division of labor has me taking the kitchenwares for Laura's Last Ditch, Tammy the hair styling tools for What Once Was Lost. Combining business with pleasure, we pause frequently to draw attention to our most chucklesome discoveries. Loud guffaws from the Grand Rapids Salvation Army's aisles may well mean we're shopping.
My autistic son often shops with us. With "Look at this!" our refrain, he, who utters more echolalia than useful speech, proffers arbitrary finds, mimicking the "Look at this!" he's heard so often from the two of us. When it's a plastic ice cube tray rather than a toy, I am amused, a veteran mom no longer nonplussed by his horrific deficit of meaningful communication.
|I sold Bridge to Mars in my shop. |
Tammy convinced me to buy it. It sold
for $40 within a couple of weeks.
Just after Christmas 2010, I find a peculiar framed photo of a boar-like creature, an attached brass plaque boasting "Javelina Club Founding Member, 1986." My prolonged gaze weighs the laughs it might receive at next year's white elephant gift exchange against its $4.99 price and a year's storage. I replace it on its hook. Tammy goads me that I "need" it, but I refuse to listen.
|A javelina. Courtesy: Wes Swaincott's Short Stories|
Tammy warned me I'd regret not buying it. Nearly a year later, I still, like a fisherman, consider this the one that got away.
Friends come and go. With my outspokenness, hard-to-suppress bossiness, eccentricity, and social anxiety, crowned with a phobia that makes placing a phone call an occasion for angst, I marvel that I have friends at all; indeed, I have scared off or neglected many throughout my life. So I especially appreciate Tammy, who, accepting of my many quirks and foibles, has taken the bait.
And I hope not to let this one get away.
"A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you."
― Elbert Hubbard