My husband took note and escorted me to the beach. The best thing about living here is when times gets tough, we go to the shore and let the waves wash our cares away. The beach is two blocks from my retail jail, so I have no excuse not to go there everyday. Hell –people travel for hours for this, I get it everyday.
Wallowing in my pity party, a bushy tail up in the ice plants caught my eye. It was a Malamute and she looked exactly like my dear departed Takoda. I blink my tears, ask if my husband saw it too and we held our breath as this beautiful creature looped over to us. Angus (he was a boy) let us love him up, pet his soft-as-satin ears, rub his belly, and marvel at the size of his paws. No one could be sad in the presence of such a wonderful animal. He wagged my sorrow away. His owner came over to chat and we shared stories of Malamutes. Angus dug in the sand and filled my shoes with errant beach particles. Moreover, he wagged, and rubbed and loved me- the way only a Northern Breed could (that is if they choose too). It was almost like God saying lighten up, it will be okay. Angus sealed the deal that we would be getting a Malamute puppy.
Feeling better, we went back to my store.
In a small town, people don’t feel the need to lock their cars or even turn them off when going to the ATM. Our friend (The Listener) Lexus was running just outside my store and he was nowhere to be seen. My Husband decided to scare him. This is a regular occurrence and The Listener has not figured out that Gary will not stop fucking with his unattended car. So Gary hopped inside the SUV.
I went into the store to find The Listener shipping something. I helped and held in my giggle. Which was funnier, that the man was about to shit himself as Gary jumped up from his back seat or that Gary the busiest man on the universe was sticking to his joke, no matter how long it took?
The Listener went on his way; I walked him to the car, anticipating his hysteria. But he saw Gary’s car and asked where he was. I lied and said the bank. So The Listener went looking for him in the bank. Meanwhile all my employees are in on the joke and watching out the window, while The Listener walks away. Gary calls the store from his cell phone in the car. “Where is he?”
The Listener leaves the bank and we all duck behind the curtains so our eavesdropping doesn’t destroy the surprise.
He goes to his car, pauses, and then comes again in to my store. I am having a hard time keeping a straight face knowing that Gary is cramped in the front passenger seat up under the dashboard, now going on 15 minutes.
The Listener hands me a poster and asks about the up-coming music festival. I yeah, yeah, yeah him and hang up the poster.
The Listener leaves, heads for his car, just as Gary calls again, I scream “He’s coming,” and hang up.
The Listener walks passed his car and strolls down the street. We are laughing so hard in the office; no one can get anything done until this joke plays out. Gary calls again and says he has moved to the back seat, he was loosing all feeling in his legs under the dash. He tells me to find him.
I call The Listener’s wife to tell her what is happening, after she checks that his life insurance policy is current, she says proceed. But she wants to talk to The Listener, he doesn’t have his phone and she has an urgent need to talk to him. The Listener strolls again past his car and goes across the street and I yell that I have his wife on the phone and that she needs to talk to him. He gives me an Italian salute and enters the Mortgage Company.
Gary calls the store for an update and moves to the back of the car to stretch out and take a nap. When The Listener comes out of the office, I give him my phone so the wife can take a swipe at his brain. He hands me the phone and heads towards his car.
We have given up hiding at this point and are sitting on the swing in front of my store.
The Listener opens the car door, gets inside, puts on his seatbelt, starts the car, and adjusts the mirror (that Gary has knocked with his head) and then “RAAAAWWWWWW”!!!!! Gary jumps from the back seat and grabs The Listener’s head. I must say that he screamed like a girl. I nearly wet my pants.
Gary jumped out of the back seat and The Listener came after him. After a cacophony of screaming, laughing, and yelling, he hears that Gary has been hiding in the car for over 30 minutes. I don’t know which is funnier, the busiest man in the world taking 30 minutes out of prime selling time to scare the shit out of his friend or The Listener’s scream that is seared in my brain.
Back in the store and reflecting how God (and Gary) was trying to make my sorrow lighter by these two events, I get a call from my boy and there was a mistake and he is not in the hands of the Justice System. I’m relieved and amazed. Not such a bad day after all. Giggled until my stomach hurt.