There was the younger woman from an eastern-bloc country who always seemed to be having a difficult time. I though perhaps the language troubled her, but we soon realised it didn't matter what anyone said. She wore purple, and was unhappy. She wore brown and was unhappier still. Then she wore an off-orange which seemed to lift her spirits.
I played with her daughter until she left, or became too old, or I became too old. She never let me look in the translucent, plastic bag carrying the magazines. I know some of them were her mother's knitting magazines, but not all of them.
We were never allowed to play beyond the slate tiles. I bent over to sniff the tiles, to take in their mossy smell .. there was another place that once smelled like this..
In the next plot over held untold delights of mechanical equipement, manned by a small man of a man. He let me watch while he toyed and fingered with the machines.. 'What's that?' 'The innards of a vacuum pump,' he says drily in a thick latino accent. I know him from somewhere. If I were to hop down and pick up the machine, he wouldn't mind, but he talks to me stiffly to discourage me from doing so..
And so we left the squalor behind. George still has not returned from Denver so Milt escorts me to the centre-ville. There we will meet George, and he will escort me back. We walk alongside a warehouse that stretches for miles. It leads from the country into the town. I nudge Milt and jokingly tell him he should take one of the rings from the machine yard and run it through his ear. He stands back slightly aghast and tells me his ears are pierced. They are, and they are dusty from years of disuse. I am fascinated by the dust. It has collected on his earlobes. Perhaps it is embarassing to have dust on one's earlobes so I turn my head away to avoid staring. 'Not-at-all,' he says and wipes the dust away. I give him one of my earrings and he pulls another from the air with a quick sleight-of-hand. This fascinates me even more. Now he has an earring in each ear. I wonder if he will leave them in or take them out before we get to town. I think he forgets about them and leaves them in. They do not match.
We enter one restaurant from the wrong end, the high-paying end. We stand by the entrance waiting to be seated. All the while numbers on a wooden board increase by hundreds. When they hit the 4000s, the maitre d' comes over and offers to seat us. We have stood out for the appropriate price range. 4000?! I think, how much is that in dollars? I forget the currency exchange of our country. I look at Milt. He looks as perplexed as I do. I look dumbfoundedly at the maitre d' and try to explain my ignorance of the system employed here. He kindly points us down the street to another restaurant.
We think it is another restaurant, but it is really the same one. This time the maitre d', a woman with blond hair, wearing a green velvety vest and black pants, offers to seat us around 2800. I still think that is too high, so does Milt. We walk into the cobblestone street and decide that it will be impossible to find George for lunch.