Un bel di vedremo
“Ten minutes, Tommy,” said Rinnie. “I go for the car in ten minutes so you be ready for the checkout then.”
“Yeah, yeah. I know. Don’t fuss, Rins. I know we have to be at home for lunch in half an hour. I learned that lesson. Now: which one is better?”
Tommy draped an end from each of two bolts of silk fabric over himself.
“They are both black, and you are crazy.”
“Rinaldo! This one is midnight black and this is jet black. And this one will shimmer under stage lights and this one will be more, um, glowy.”
“Radiant,” said Rinnie. “I learned that word last week when Pol said my ass was--”
“Fabric store!” said Tommy. “Apple pie bakers all around us!”
Rinnie simply wrote a note in his language learner notebook, and said “Five minutes. They are both same to me. Do you want shimmer or glow on stage?”
Tommy dithered right up until Rinnie implacably set off for the parking lot. “I pull around Tommy. Be ready or I honk in the fire lane and tell Pol.”
“Fuck it.” Tommy heaved both entire bolts into his cart on top of the bright white cotton bolt and gold braid he’d picked out earlier and careened over to the embroidery floss display and ransacked it and then moaned as he turned the corner and saw the checkout was blocked by a gaggle of moms and kids buying craft projects.
He could see Rinnie at the other end of the parking lot getting into the car. Rinnie always parked away from other cars in store lots since he was super-conscientious about the privilege of them having a boy-car. Tommy had thought Rinnie was gonna cry the day some bastard had keyed the passenger door while they did Pol’s grocery shopping. Pol had just sent them to buy a touch up kit, but Rinnie was mortified at having had the car damaged under his care.
Tommy tried not to jiggle as the kids piled up their sidewalk chalk and finger paints and glitter. Why the hell did all fabric stores have to be craft shops, too? he fumed. Then caught himself as Magdalena, the owner, came out of the back room with a carton and waved him to a new checkout lane. “Hola Tommy -- I put aside fabric orchids for you. And this cute little Japanese tea service came in.” Tommy squirmed at all the craft supplies she had special ordered for him. Even though he’d only had bad thoughts, he gave a shamefaced grin at a harried mom as she left. Magdalena had really come through for him, and had added in a bundle of brightly colored organza and silk remnants for him at almost wholesale.
Of course, when he saw how much his fabric purchases rang up to, he understood why the store gave him such nice treatment. He was a regular spender here for his design program projects, but this trip had exceeded them all. He closed his eyes and handed over Pol’s boys’ shopping credit card. He had permission of course, but he doubted Pol had anticipated that his capstone project for his design program would cost this much.
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