Purse

Standard

She didn’t have much English.

What we see here? she asked when she approached the counter.

The guy with her didn’t seem to have any English. After I explained they’d see giant sequoias on the trail, she turned to the guy and translated. The language they spoke wasn’t one I recognized. The other store clerk insisted it must have been Portuguese (because she could recognize French, Italian, and Spanish), but I wasn’t convinced. I’ve been told Portuguese sounds like a mix of Spanish and Italian, but the language these customers spoke sounded like nothing I’d ever heard.

The woman’s entry into the mercantile’s guest book did nothing to solve the mystery. I’m sure the other clerk thought all would become clear when the woman accepted the offer to sing in, but I’m sure she wasn’t expecting the visitor to write “Torrance, CA” on the line.

The woman asked for directions to the closest national park. I explained in detail what roads to take and even pulled out a California road map so I could tell and show. The woman bought the map and asked if they should walk our trail before they left. I told them I’d get on the road immediately, as they still had a drive of several hours ahead of them.

The woman asked about restrooms, and I pointed to the building housing pit toilets on the other side of the driveway. She spoke to her fellow, and they both moved to the store’s door.

The woman had put her purse on the front counter during the examination of the map, and it was still sitting there. I thought she’d pick it up before she left the building, but she seemed to plan to go to the restroom without it.

Ma’am, your purse, I said as she got farther from the purse and closer to the door.

She waved her hand at me, as if to indicate, Oh, that old thing? I don’t need to take it with me. With her limited English, she communicated that they were only going to the restroom and would be right back.

Um, no.

You really should take it, I said sternly.

She took the steps back towards me and swept the purse off the counter.

I’m glad she thought I was honest. I am honest, but she had no way of knowing I wouldn’t riffle through her bag and pull out some choice items.

Also, how was I to know she wasn’t going to try to pull some scam on me? She could have come back from the restroom and insisted I’d taken a nonexistent wad of cash/iPhone/credit card.

What if other people had come into the store and someone had snatched her bag while I wasn’t looking? Would she have held me responsible for not keeping a closer watch on her belongings?

I was not willing to take responsibility for her things. I don’t know how it’s done in Torrance, CA, but where I come from, we don’t ask store clerks we don’t know to take care of our purses.

Photo courtesy of https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-leather-crossbody-bag-with-white-framed-sunglasses-167703/.

 

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now my (male) partner and I (a woman) have a travel trailer we can pull with our truck. We have a little piece of property, and when we're not traveling, we park our little camper there. I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

I'd love to know what you think. Please leave a reply