Tuesday, September 4, 2007

#15. record an overheard conversation

i can't tell if he's mexican or just dark. he could be a half-caste, but you can never really tell in the desert. everyone acts the same. business as usual, the young girl at the cash register blinks and offers, "did you find everything you needed today?"

he quickly responds with a routine, "no." then his demeanor and voice changes as if he were going through a transformation that would turn pinocchio into a real boy. "i mean, yes. there was one thing i could not find."

"oh, are you lying to me now?" the girl flirts back.

"no, i just remembered," he defends, "that i didn't find one thing."

she has dark chocolate colored hair that's pulled into a ponytail with the characteristic sixties hair bump at the crown of the head. her eyes are drowning in black eye-liner and she is small, but with the potential to blow up like a balloon after she gives birth. she gives up trying to be flirtatious (which seems to have been confused with the generic company policy of being friendly) and bluntly asks, "what was it?" as she bags the rest of his items.

as a matter of fact, "scott stapp - the great divide." pause. as if she's hard of hearing, "the great divide?"

"is that a movie?" i was sure he was talking about a book.

"no." he seemed to grow impatient with the progress of the exchange, as anyone would. but the way he attempts his explanation makes it seem as if he is tickled with opportunity. he begins, "well, have you heard of creed?"

the girl seems to be at a loss of an appropriate response. either she has barely listened to this band (probably due to youth) or she absolutely hates the band and is embarrassed to talk about creed. an educated guess would choose the latter. i was embarrassed to listen.

"you've never heard of creed?" he returns to growing impatient. he has a bit of a beer belly and facial hair. the exact type of facial hair is easy to forget, especially from a profile view.

"uh... i've heard of them," she emphasizes. this is probably because she is still embarrassed.

"well, after they broke up, they all split up. and the lead singer - scott stapp - came out with a solo album, the great divide. i thought you guys would have it in your music section, i figured this is a new store and all." later, i went home and looked up this album. it was released almost three years ago, rendering his reasoning sufficiently unreasonable. he continued, "i had it and some guys at work stole it from me. they just stole it."

"ohhh... well you can probably find it at barnes and nobles," she pretends sympathetically. i am not sure why she pluralizes the book store chain.

"nah! i don't wanna go all the way over to the mall." i agree with him. especially for something like that. "besides, i can probably save more money with the two dollar shipping than..."

"... the gas that it'll cost you to get out there!" the girl finishes, the way old people complain about prices rising, but she's not particularly good at it.

he doesn't really listen to what she says and says over her half of the sentence, "...driving all around town lookin' for it. i might as well just order it." he looks at the receipt she hands him and stuffs it in his wallet, as he begins to walk to his shopping cart.

immediately when the line starts to shift and he is not in the paying spot, the young girl stops listening and even talking to him. he spews out another sentence or two and is amused at his own anecdote(s), but she doesn't even tell him to have a nice day. i realized i stopped listening the second she stopped also. he has kids. three of them. they were at the cart waiting and i just noticed them as the young girl begins to scan my items.

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