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18:08

elodieunderglass:

skippercifer:

skippercifer:

skippercifer:

skippercifer:

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skippercifer:

A really harrowed-looking man who was probably in his 60s came into the shop today. He was wearing a gold-colored tie that kept sliding down the side of his neck because it was tied very poorly, and a rumpled light blue dress shirt. I did not see his legs or shoes. Part-time cashiers are sometimes just not afforded the luxury.

We said hello to each other as I scanned his items (diet coke and a nature valley granola bar- $2.69), me sounding more interested than usual just because he sounded so out-of breath and very engaged in his purchase. Also maybe because I could not see his shoes.

“How’s your life going?” He suddenly asked, swiping his card, not casually but almost pleadingly curious.

“Uhm, all right I s’pose” I said, too startled to think of a more cheery lie. 

He nodded somberly. “Me too… I guess.” He paused and looked at me for a minute and then just said “it’s a Monday, ya know.”

“Mondays are like this sometimes” I supplied, feeling like we were having a really weird conversation hidden under the one that was actually taking place.

And then he left. I forgot to look at his shoes.

PART II 

Honestly I had no idea that I would ever have the privilege of writing a sequel to this post. I considered it an odd moment, an interaction that changed me in a way, but a fleeting one. I automatically assumed our paths would never cross again, there was such a finality to that window of time on Monday August 22nd of 2016. And yet.

He returned.

I didn’t truly notice him come in, glancing up from whatever menial and already forgotten task I was busy with, but not registering who it was or why he seemed to put out an aura of familiarity. It had been weeks and I haven’t even caught a glimpse of him; the memory of Monday August 22nd of 2016 had faded like a dream. But lo he appeared before me, dressed in exactly the same fashion that made him look like he had just crawled out of carwash (albeit with a pink shirt and purple tie this go-around.)

His face lit up when he saw me, again holding a diet coke and a nature valley granola bar. ‘How is your day going?’ He asked earnestly.

‘Pretty well.’ I said, professionally containing myself, “how are you?”

“I’m good, I’m good” he said, sounding more cheerful than before but just as harried. When I handed him back his change and items and he looked like he was going to cry. 

“Thank you” he whispered with a look of reverence I have only seen on the faces of ancient church members receiving the eucharist.

“It’s no trouble,” I promised, trying not to look perplexed.

He bowed (LITERALLY BOWED) and then made a hurried exit stage left, reminiscent of Lear just before the second act, halfway into madness.

A Lear I had again forgotten to note the footwear of.

PART. 3. 

Okay I’m not even bothering with the pretentious Hemingway style for this one; I’m still reeling over the fact that he came back after four months AND on a Friday instead of a Monday no less.

Notes:

  • He was wearing literally the exact same shirt and tie he had on from part one, only with an orange sweater and fancy jacket over the ensemble to indicate that it was winter
  • He bought Lay’s sour cream and onion potato chips this time instead of his standard granola bar, but the diet coke was as usual
  • He told me that he always felt guilty for buying snack food but ‘you have to do what you have to do’
  • He then smiled sadly at me and said ‘enjoy your weekend… If you can.’
  • I sat in stunned, unblinking silence for about six minutes until a customer came up and looked me over worriedly
  • Who is this man
  • WHY DO I KEEP FORGETTING TO LOOK AT HIS SHOES

Part Four

First thing’s first,

image

Probably about two years of wear on them but otherwise well cared for. Socks were white, which I was only able to notice because this human being has zero clothes that fit and his pant cuffs were hovering about 3 inches away from his shoes. I keep thinking his outfits can’t possibly get any better, but this one takes the cake:

Crumpled white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up, gigantic scarf that looked as though it were made out of mouldy carpet, neon orange striped tie, and a matching neon orange plastic digital watch that probably came out of a box of honeycombs back in 1988.

He did not grace me with his odd conversational charm today, but I received something better. A clue. 

Today he was buying a red notebook and three ballpoint pens instead of snacks (which was questionable but this is a Thursday we’re talking about; the day that falls on the chaotic spectrum and which I am known for my overzealous distrust of), and when he pulled out his luxury black Mastercard to pay for his items he said eight words which shook me to my very core.

“I do get a staff discount on these.”

This has never come up before because discount plans don’t apply to food items. I have no need to ask the identity of a man buying a granola bar and a diet coke. But now.

I didn’t speak as I handed him his receipt, just nodded courteously. Only staff members know about the specific discount so I had no real need to ask for an ID for proof, and I was cursing my mistake in not asking for it anyway. 

I must find this man. I have been here for three years and yet have only seen him within the confines of the store at odd intervals. I’ve never even seen him step into the store, or leave (another customer is somehow always in line behind him and demanding my attention.) I spent half an hour going through the college’s entire staff directory this afternoon… and may have found something. I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, I am not yet certain and will have to gather a few more items of information, but for the first time I can promise a part to follow. Perhaps, an ending.

Cinq

Not an ending of any sort, but a very brief update from the field. My work schedule has changed since January and I was honestly beginning to wonder if I wouldn’t see the man again until the fall, as it’s been more than two months now. He startled me quite a bit when he literally blew in as if by a gust of wind right as my shift was ending. 

He was in quite a hurry and only bought a diet coke ($1.50) before blustering(?) off, giving me no chance to run an investigation or perception check, but if fashion checks were a thing…

Please imagine, if you will, a man wearing a yellow polka-dot tie that was not even tied, an orange scarf, the watch mentioned in my previous entry, khakis, a bright periwinkle shirt… and an impeccably matching woolen periwinkle cape. He was also carrying a very large black satchel with tartan lining, every single pocket of which was unzipped.

He looked like a hedge wizard.

I want answers.

6.

I found him.

  • Masters in theology from Harvard 
  • Distinguished professor of philosophy
  • God-tier identification photo; I cannot believe that I have not been hallucinating this man for the past 12 months and 41 days.
image

this is a  fucking triumph

Reposted byjulianturnerwonkopaket

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