As I crossed the baking-hot parking lot towards the grocery store that awkward thing happened when you are suddenly in lockstep with a stranger, she was a weathered granny type lugging one of those large purses pregnant with crumpled coupons and cheap hand lotion that looked like it was a quilt in another life. I could tell by her knurled hands and leathery smoker’s face that she had spent too many lean years in a poorly ventilated fluorescent lit factory and sunshine to her was as rare as luck or a kind word. As we walked elbow to elbow in the blinding sun I turned and looked her square in the eye with the seriousness of a judge handing down a death sentence.
“You know if they see us walking in together like this people are going to talk.”
“Do I know you?!”, she barked back slightly shaken by another human voice.
“What’s your name? We’ve met!”, she asked electric with intrigue.
“You’re thinking of Charlie Sheen.” I said.
“NO! I know who he is. I’ve seen you before!”
“Just imagine him when he was twisted on drugs, the tiger blood phase.”
“No. What’s your name?”, she asked now caught in my sticky web.
“Steven Clark. But you’re thinking of Corey Feldman.”
Her face grew flush, “Oh God no, NOT HIM! That rapist!”
“Someone once bought me breakfast at the Kentucky Derby because they thought I was Corey.”, I replied.
“Honey we have met before!”
“Maybe. I use to do the weather on WAVE 3 about ten years ago. Did you visit my booth at the state fair?”
“Oh my! Really! No, I don’t think so.”
As we entered the store I offered her a cart.
“Take the small one, if you take the big one you’ll just fill it up with nonsense. I’m only here for an onion and some beer but I’m still using a cart. Had a horse kick me clean in the spine, lots of nerve damage.”
“Oh No! Bless you! Thank you, nice to meet you!”, her head bobbled in feigned pity as she took the small cart.
“Nice to meet you too, have a great day. Fight the power.”
As I walked away towards the waxy jungle that is the produce section she shouted from the long line at the pharmacy, “Your weather was always the best!”