Confidential to the Checker at Keil's in Clairemont

I've never seen you before.

You, with the dead blue eyes, granny glasses, hangdog face and bad grey-blond "I love Fantasy Island" haircut.

I've never experienced your curious brand of customer service, the irritated sigh, near-silent grunt and shrug-of-the-shoulders reply to a simple greeting. Perhaps you were having a bad day.

PuppiesNever mind the anger - or the layers of victimhood troweled up like tiramisu - roiling from your person in big, black waves. I see your emotionless eyes and I get it: You wish you weren't here. And you wish I wasn't either.

I can only assume my small daughter felt your blackness, for never before has she howled so forlornly and piercingly to be removed from a space as she did in your presence. Apologies for your shattered eardrums, by the way. It was quite a shriek.

And despite the pinched, shit-smelling glare of hatred you gave my daughter, I will return to Keil's.

rainbowWhy? (I had to ask myself that same question, actually...)

Because I have to. I'll do it because yours is the closest store to my house and sometimes I'm just too lazy to go anywhere else.

But on those days? Well, if fate mandates that you are working, I plan to stand in your line with my daughter.  I will muster every ounce of 1950s cheerleader in my bones, and build around me a Fortress of Optimism. I will be so damn showtunes-and-puppy-dogs upbeat that my shining laser beam of perky will force you to shit canaries for a week. I'll have you craving Shirley Temple movies, lady. 

Or dream of homicide. Whichever. 

The point is? You'll experience the yin to your yang, the white to your black. And perhaps you will finally know what everyone else knows: That your particular brand of poison is toxic only to yourself.



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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >