There I was, sitting in this little Chinese restaurant in Half-Way Tree square, waiting for my chicken chop suey to go. In walked two girls, call them Patrons 1 and 2.
Patron 1 was wearing a blue jeans Bahamas shorts, and a yellow and white polka dot baby doll blouse, accompanied by big, gaudy, yellow and white plastic bangles, huge yellow plastic hoop earrings, yellow ballet shoes, long false lashes, curly hair extensions, and a big, bright yellow bag (girl was brighter than the sun, I tell yah!). She had a barrage of tattoos up and down her bare arms, on her back, and on her legs. She came in, sat down, and immediately put her head in her lap.
Her friend, Patron 2, came in after her, wearing a much more subdued baby doll dress with brown ballet shoes. She sat, gave everyone the cursory glance, and immediately started louding up Patron 1.
Enter Patron 3, chatting loudly on her cell phone: Am I disturbing something? (Pause). How you say you working today? You don't sound like you're at work... (Pause. Hisses teeth loudly). No, I'm jus askin because... (Her face clouds over). You nuh sound like you deh a work...
Things I learned in a shop today:
1. When you call a man and he says he is at work, and he doesn't sound like it, don't believe him. In fact, it's perfectly acceptable to complain about it when you get off the phone, so a whole shop of people waiting for their lunches can hear and sympathise bout what a cheating, lying bastard he is, and how long you've CHOSEN to put up with his cheating, lying ways.
2. If you ever feel really sick, go out with a friend who will offer you some kind of non-humiliating support, instead of making the whole world know you got knocked up and now having, not just morning, but day-to-day sickness, and causing her a whole lot of grief and trouble. No, scratch that. The lesson is: DON'T get knocked up.
Finally my ticket number got called, I collected my lunch and walked out of the restaurant into the hot sun to make my way back to work. I passed trucks full of pieces of board from illegal stalls that some policemen were pulling apart. I wonder if TVJ was anywhere nearby. You think I might see myself on 7 o'clock news?