Woman at the Counter, Versions 2 and 1

Note: Version #2 is first.

2. There was only one customer, a woman,  at the counter in the post office when I walked in today to mail a couple of books to a friend in California. I never did see her face, but judging from her jeans, t-shirt and dishwater blond hair pulled back into a pony tail, and other physical clues, I am guessing she was somewhere between 28 and 35.

The main thing I noticed at first was that her voice was soft, quavery. She seemed to be asking the clerk, (a calm, straight-arrow, professional but friendly guy who has been there a long time), how she could rent a post office box and how much they cost. I zoned out while he gave her all the fine print details.  I thought of my virtual friend, a new blogging buddy, a fine young writer who is just about to give birth to her second child. I thought about the serendipity of how birds of like feather seem to find one another to give and receive encouragement and to meet each other wherever we are on the pilgrim path of writing.

Sometimes I think everyone on the planet is a writer, that we are all celebrating the joy of the struggle of expressing ourselves with pen, ink, paper, keyboard, and voice. Tells you what a lovely bubble I live in, no?

The woman’s voice penetrated the vapor barrier of my thoughts. She had come to a decision. “I’ll take the year — no, if I do he’ll get on me — I’ll take six months.”

If I do he’ll get on me.

My spine straightened. I felt a miniature electric drill twisting its way up into the base of my skull.

Note: Version 1 is what showed up as type on the page when I used the Plantronics Calisto Bluetooth headset to speak this post for Dragon to turn into words. It’s painfully obvious that I have a lot of work to do to learn how to frame my thoughts into type-ready speech, and clearly, Dragon and I are at the beginning of the learning curve. The gibberish that resulted is somewhat amusing and undeniably weird.

1. There was only one person in the post office when I walked in today to mail a package for a friend. She was a petite woman somewhere between 28 and 35 years old I never did see her face. I was there to mail the book to a friend that California does not have the baby at night I wanted to share with her what my favorite children’s that had for children of all ages.

She wore a pair of jeans and T-shirts, had newtons medium length blondish sort of hair and the main thing I noticed that her voice had kind of a quaver to it she was she was asking Kerry about the cost of opening a PO Box. In his usual gentle friendly way he was explaining the options. Space it seemed that she was looking at the possibility of six months or a year the cost for the year as it is. Pointed out was more reasonable the risk of the discount at least I think that’s what I heard , and she was weighing whether to buy open a box and pay the fee for six months or to pay for a full year. I could hear the tension in her voice and I could see it in her body language she kind of shifted from one site to the next. FnallyR she said well I think I’ll take the year and no he’ll get on the inside. Let’s make the 669. I felt the kind of an electric Jerrell feeling up my spine a tiny little electric drill, she’s this is that this is really bad for women she went off to the side to fill out paperwork I came to Canada sent a letter to indicate and actually two books and I thought how lucky KVS how lucky I am to be in loving relationships relationships with our partners and and also am reason you are comfortable comfortable financially to the extent that we can could make that decision of whether to rent the box for a year or rectify for six months and certainly not fear going home and having someone get FACT that some mountain biking I talked about this and he he thinks it probably had more to do with justify family finances and her her thanks anxiety about that O

12 thoughts on “Woman at the Counter, Versions 2 and 1

  1. Ah, how glad I am that your pencil and yellow legal tablets put your thoughts in order. Version 2 is much more satisfying and powerful.

    A writer I think you’ll enjoy: Between Two Rivers on my blogroll.


  2. The first one is haunting, a great moment caught, that inner subjectivity and outside world entwined. The second reads like an Eastern European, under the influence of both Faulkner and acid, being translated by a drunken Spaniard. I like it. You may have made the first experimental writing breakthrough since Gertrude Stein!


  3. I have a poet friend who translates passages from English to French using Google and then translates the French pasage back into English — sometimes her own poems. The results can be most amusing


    1. Makes me think of the oft-repeated quote from children’s book author and illustrator Robert McCloskey: “I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”


  4. Oh, I love reading these versions together, Beth! I wonder what newtons hair is? And the very idea of “thanks anxiety” makes me sit and stare into space. Lovely piece, number 2. “If I do, he’ll get on me.” Wow! What a world opens from that line. More please!


    1. I think I was beginning to get “newtons hair” so got it chopped short. Great way to lose a couple pounds! No more blow-drying. Hallelujah. I think I’ve actually experienced thanks anxiety before. It happens when someone compliments me but I know in my heart I am a fraud. Pretty common syndrome, actually.


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