The fraternal mood at breakfast belied the passion of the night before. One spoke of a previous lover, pressed against the wall of a hotel corridor. The other shared a memory of puffy nipples. They laughed and interrupted one another and paid mostly less attention to the details than they should have. Than they might have. Than might be expected for lovers deeply bonded and about to part ways.
Their eyes met briefly over wry smiles, the slightest of moments across the table just as their ankles brushed underneath. He stood sweeping himself from his seat and filled both of their mugs from the sideboard decanter.
She noticed the tip of her red silk scarf, worn at her breast the night before, peeking from the top of his front trouser pocket. Noticing her notice, he swiveled his hips with a jerk just as she reached to snatch it back — a liquid chuckle and tilt of the head her only replies when he escaped her.
Moments later, as they walked arm in arm to the train station, she asked him, “Do you intend to keep my silk, then? As a personal talisman, my dear man? Do tell. Are you plotting to cast spells on me in the near future?”
In response, it was his turn to chuckle and shake his head. To introduce an abrupt turn in the conversation as they rounded the final corner in their trip across town.
"Will you be here to greet me on my return," he stopped and turned to face her and she reflexively mirrored his motion, "at dusk?"
She nodded, bit her bottom lip and smiled. She made her whole face say — of course! what an absurdly unnecessary question. Then she said, out loud in her most serious voice, quiet and low with little inflection. “Maybe, but not likely.”
They looked directly into each other’s eyes. Then continued walking.
He did not return the scarf when he kissed her goodbye on the cheek, nor in the last moments he held her embrace.
She watched as the train pulled away slowly. She walked along the platform next to it as it went. His arm extended out the window in front of her, head and body hidden inside. The red silk flapping in his fist.
She smiled as he opened his fingers wide. She quickened her pace to match the accelerating train. Laughed out loud as she saw the wind grab her scarf and draw it, like cigarette smoke, into the narrow alley between two brick buildings just beyond the platform.
The train whistle drowned out the sound of her shoes on the pavement as she followed the shadows down the passageway after it.
He imagined her, throughout the day, chasing the scarf. Pursuing it like her own sense of feminine identity, an amulet imbued with her sexual juju, a symbol of her most potent magnetism and charm. He smiled to himself each time the thought came across his mind. He looked forward to seeing her that evening and admitted to himself, albeit reluctantly, that he hoped she would be waiting close at hand when he returned on the train.
For her part, she did not spend the day chasing the scarf. Rather, like the most elegant, proficient blood hound, she tracked it effortlessly and with notable grace down the alley, around the corner, and onto the sunny patio of a bustling cafe. Once there, scarf and woman seemed to find each other as if destined. Her fingers grasped its shiny red corner, pulled it from the air and shook it several times vehemently — not unlike the clamped teeth of the hound, gentle but firm, shaking its prey with rigor.
In this way, she secured a premium spot in the front window seat of the dining area, and began a day of “holding court” to a stream of admirers and friendly townspeople who seemed inexplicably drawn to her side. She smiled to herself, thinking of her breakfast companion fondly and secretly thanking him for airing out and reawakening her magnetic charm. She wore the scarf tied around her neck all day.
She was not easy to spot, leaning against the brick wall in the narrow alley at dusk. One knee raised, foot flat, head pressed back, chin up, the red silk tied around her wrist and dangling, at her hip, at the end of her long slender arm. She never turned her head. She didn’t flinch at the whistle or the gush of wind as the slowing train passed. She just stood there waiting, for him to come.
At my first job other than babysitting, I remember the chiaroscuro.
Beginning the Friday after Memorial Day weekend and running five days a week through the end of County Fair week, which was really ten days in August, I was at the public pool. There was usually one or two days off around the fourth of July, but otherwise it was every day, every summer from the age of 11 to 15, from 6:45 am until almost noon.
I broke my nose twice there, during those years. Stained the crystal blue bottomed pool water and chlorine green with the blood of my very own nostrils, right straight out the middle of my very own face.
My skin turned dark dark brownie brown. I never knew a bottle of sunscreen. My nose burned and peeled repeatedly. But nothing else. I just got browner and browner against the ever-whitening pale of my ass and breasts. Breasts that progressed in their development from pink puffs on flat pecs to full b-size cups in four years.
They rivaled the pinkening of my privileged feet beneath the callouses. We did not wear flip-flops then, that would have been cheap and white-trashy our mothers and older sisters said. We wore sneakers without socks and left them hanging over the handlebars of our bikes by the laces. We went into the pool compound through the eight foot chain link gates, through the pool house, spent all morning teaching swimming lesson after swimming lesson, did it all barefoot.
I might say it was the last place I have a clear memory of being connected, solid, to the earth — but I wasn’t. It was a concrete world. From one shade and texture of conrete to the next, from the deck to the side boards to the wet wet concrete at the bottom of the pool floor. Concrete covered in white paint layered in three to 12 feet of water after watery depth and level. The place was a concrete swamp, surrounded by a poured rock jungle and chain link to keep the after hours intruders out. (It didn’t. We simply used the fence to climb onto and over the roof of the pool house — to skinny dip, of course.)
There was a pack of us teenagers, maybe twenty of us, no more than two dozen. ranging in age from 11 to 18, the manager was a totally buff dude of 28 with a degree in parks and rec, a certified personal trainer. I had to pull him limp and dragging from the deep end to pass my life-saving course. He bought one of the first beers I ever drank away from my own house. I think I might have been 13 by then. I hope.
The pool was at the bottom of two gentle slopes, intentionally placed there at the edge of the fairground park, sheltered by what little variation in the geographical plane was available in the middle of the heartland’s plains. Beyond the concrete and its rock and chain link boarder there was fifty yards of grass and huge old growth trees in all directions, toward the parking lot and the surrounding neatly curbed and paved streets. The elementary school with its playground equipment on the east and the fair grounds with its race track on the west.
Most of the pool and deck was shaded until the sun came up over the hill strong around 7:28 a.m. The first hour was spent, tense and chilled, marked by the stripes of harsh slanty shadows. The class that began at seven induced a plague of goosebumps across instructors and tots dipping their feet in only reluctantly for the first half of the lesson. Their moms yelling and bullying, painted nails and wedding ringed fingers stuck through and gripping the linked holes from the other side of the fence.
I knew every single damn day that it was all going to feel good once the sun got hot and the kids quit whining and crying. I knew for sure it would be okay and worth it by the time eight o’clock or even 7:50 rolled around. But those mornings before that, or the days the sun never came out, when rain threatened but didn’t cancel the session, then it was pure misery — the cold, the scrunched shoulders, the complaining children. It actually hurt.
It was hard, but not very. And it was glorious. I can still remember the feeling of the beach towel wrapped around my muscled obliques and tucked in just below the belly button in front. I can feel the textured lines grated into the concrete to make it grip and not slippery, the snags across the seat of my bikini, the whistle on a lanyard around my neck. I remember how the smell of chlorine lingered in my hair until almost Halloween. And how the tan lines never disappeared once in all four years, lasting clear through each winter.
I loved that place. Some of the worst tragedies of my life resulted because of it and the connections I made there. Those were my first paychecks, ever. Every kind of first intoxication. This is not a secret but, I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone, exactly. About the place. I grew up a lot there, I lost some vital things and I gained some. Both good and bad in both cases. I was scared sometimes but I was strong and brave. I knew how. I taught a lot of kids to swim.
muddy swim lessons
Growing moss in a box so I can reconnect with the earth and reverse domesticate myself like a potted ficus transplanted and re-released into the wild. Like a disney movie given a second life, opportunity to thrive and make a profit. A virtual mother nature world inside but compromisingly not all the way in my brain - like it has been.
I think meeting halfway might leave everybody out in the cold, but I don’t want to be stubborn or closed and I haven’t felt at home anyplace ever or at least in a really long time, anyway. Since before I can remember. I want to find a way to remove the layers without slicing. But I’m at a loss for how you rub away something that was made slow and gradual day after day - by rubbing. How to rub out the rub smoothly. How to erode the build up of erosion.
Initially justified, the cyclic self-sufficient callousness of mistrust builds up and grows layer after layer after layer of dead between the world and my sensitive skin and flesh. I am a dog digging a hole in his own bed of covers, outdated instincts the most robust. But there is no dirt, I scramble for earth, I turn circle after circle before sleep. Yipping like a kenneled puppy through the bars of artificial dreams.
The dog held above the water, still paddling my feet. So thirsty but terrified I’ll sink.
Friction so tight it squeaks, then pipes through my voice. The way a hoodie string gets stripped, so that the outer layer of it comes loose and rip slides up like a skirt of loose banana curls. Upside down banana peels after traveling squeaky through the shredder, the package ribbon scissor-slicked into ringlets. Quivering.
Fall has been warring winter for three days of unseasonably warm weather shrouded in the dampest misty wet fog of gloom. Winter compressing Autumn down from above, paused in a threatening but frozen posture, letting the last of the season squirm. Poised to squash it all too soon under frigid air and snow.
I dangle by my head, by my creative neck and stretched intuitive throat. My feet are cartoon pedaling in a scrambling wide semi-circle of tangly directions. A squid lifted from the life force of water.
I am torn apart at the earth.
A spraying game of pitch and catch the energy across the fathomless pit takes up all my extra extra. Keep away — with my survival, my pleasure, my joy, my power all stranded in the middle. Too much of my energy jumping in spurts to poke and grab at connections just outside my reach.
I am spending as much time as possible standing on one of my legs. The other raised to my inner thigh, my staggering teaches me way too many things. Listening to myself pitch over at the leaden weight of my ethereal head untethered, I will learn to let my legs hang. I will fall full on into my face. My soul refuses not to be planted. Planted in the here and now.
3 sentences - 1 noun prompt challenge
Write a 3 (or less) sentence paragraph describing a character as richly as possible. Write it so that you can change one noun — it might be a compound or two word noun (2 consecutive words) as in my example, but it has to be just 1 noun changed - total - in all three sentences. That one change should make as large a difference as possible in the final impression left of the character.
She was choosy about her beverages. She was a lesbian who learned how to cook mostly from men. “Men, cookbooks and recipes,” she said, over the lip of her wine glass.
She was choosy about her beverages. She was a lesbian who learned how to cook mostly from men. “Men, cookbooks and recipes,” she said, over the lip of her beer can.
tag it #3 sentence challenge
the taste of wait
The recipe was sketchy at best, incomplete scribbles on a scrap of envelope tacked to the hood of the old stove with a disc magnet. Her finger tap tapping it, metacarpals and veins bouncing across the back under smooth skin. Her nude bum rounded out, butt cheeks peeking eyes under the bangs of her loose white tee, belly deep breathing and hips extending underneath. She bit her crooked twisted bottom lip and pondered how best to conjure the meal he needed, how to cook the dish he craved.
The sun streamed in through a window, laid a sliced patch of bright warm light at an angle, cutting diagonal across the back of one calf and banking off the opposite shin. Light created an edge off into the dark shadows at her naked feet. The left foot propped atop the right, its toepads resting against the back of toe knuckles, her left heel pressed back against the front of her right ankle. Her lines were all curves and braided hide lurking in the dim room’s semi-dark.
She hummed a little, continued tapping with one hand and ran the other under her hair to cup the back of her neck. She stretched it, then, closed her eyes, let her head drop and made a large “ppuh” sound on the next exhale. She turned fast and stepped over to the window, looked out and scooped her hair into a ponytail. Sipped her coffee and concentrated on the images she wanted to develop.
She trained her eye on her belief that a recipe might be a poem, in which case it would have the power, she fathomed, to make magic. The words in combination with their physical manifestation a true piece of alchemy spelled. All puns intended and potent and aimed and directed. Puns and lyric to change the world. His world.
His soul needed the immediate connection of proximity of smell of sweat and sweet breath. Of hard candy left on the lips after melting on the tongue slow to crawl down a throat. One whiff enough to animate images of all that was the dark smooth warm red of her mouth. Each piece of it and altogether, lips pursed in a drawing of breaths that insisted the eyes seek out and find the look and feel of it all at once. A playmate to trigger his intellect and ire with niggling fingers that end in the desire of reconciliation if not resolution. New tuning in to channels of pressure and challenge and circling back banter and soft nurturing. To coax, to shout, to apologize, to soothe and be seen and caught seeing. A recipe to leave the pallet tottering on that edge of recognition and dangerous unknowing.
A concoction of spontaneous consumption and combustion to capture every bit of his attention and hold it in the present moment. To train all his keen senses in one place, repeatedly in episode after episode over time. To dance in and out of his life like the pleasure and necessity of mealtime without ever seeming regular or burdensome. With space to himself to digest in between. She would be a chamber to echo within, to read with. to challenge, to validate, to define true friendship. The kind that reaches from strength and pulls it back in again. To reciprocate and make a place for mutual to live. A creature of living reflective surfaces, to mirror the light of his own sight and vision.
She would make him a woman he could fall for. A woman who would watch his falling and fall her own direction, all the while pulling soft tugs and drawing the yarns and silks of sentiment inside him out as he went. To cup her hands round them and pour them back at him in understanding and new curiosity and heat. She would send her along to him, he need merely keep his eyes wide and love the wait. The taste in the air of wait.
seems trite to title it in question
Do you mind? Do you mind. Do you mind if I ask you a series of questions but leave off the inflection and even the question mark. One right after another. Without hesitation. Do you mind if I use punctuation, in particular period marks, unorthodoxly. With unorthodoxy?
Do you mind? Does it bother you.
Do you mind? Do you tend to it with your consciousness.
Do you mind? Do you follow instructions well.
Do you work with the image, trying to get it to say what you see there, or what is on your agenda. Do you coax the image, finesse it into view. Do you work with the viewer, to coax them. To coax them into seeing something. To coax them into seeing something new. Something new. Something you see. Something previously unseen. By all. Or something obviously. Obviously it depends. On what. What are all the formulations. None can be undiscovered yet. Or are there lots of unnamed. Unnamed things. Unnamed entities. Unbounded names of things.
Is your job seeking. Altertness. Framing. Found art. Random captivatingness or an unfolding mystery of messages. Specific or spontaneous. Planned or organically emerging. What are the equations for its evolution and revolutions. Does it harbor any anarchists.
What is it. A pull. Or a push. Don’t even try lying anymore with the denying arm all bendy bent and swinging hammer style at the elbow. It is a compulsion. For all of us.
demanding post scripts
Where is the folk tale about why mammals hands and feet pads, why do our paws look like that? Why are they like the cross sections of wood sliced in either direction, the grain. Or the grains of sand on the beach after high tide comes in and then goes again. Or the backs of the shells left behind. Line after nested line, in one direction and then another.
Where is my story?
Who cut us off there and what free from? The earth unleashed us so that as furry beasts we might roam. The moss became hair, the wood and stones rolling bones in the shapes of things with teeth and tails and claws. Claws to protect that still open cross-section where we were once attached to the ground. Why and to what end did they slash our warm blood connection. I want to know as it sure wasn’t peace in the making.
Someone tell me and I want the lush gory details in colors and feelings to break me and make me cry and laugh and grow hysterical and thoughtful and be restored and reborn again to peace. Yesterday I was thankful today I am, myself again, full of yearning.
The scent of the place hit her nostrils like fumes hit a huffer, like the first shot of whiskey to the back of the throat of a five year coin holder, like the drag of tobacco rolls across the tongue of a smoker after an overseas flight. Her face was covered in the gulping grin of someone whose neural pathways are lit up like a runaway on course to take off for unknown heights. Her brain sat up and paid attention, moving in the direction of long-ago-established, emotionally-charged memories. These were well-reinforced memories, memories that have never been challenged by an opposing position and need not pull against any counter inclinations. Her mind had nurtured and grown all the expectations necessary to propel her fast into giddiness, primed and ready for the endorphin cocktail that waited next on her agenda.
but they did so both
Banter and brain laughter and cigarettes lit and handed over to her as she was the driver, unquestioned. Cold cold air and rain from the cracked windows mixed in with smiles and soft sometimes wet eyes that go along with deep conversations, between people never before so well understood - not by another, not by themselves.
More laughter, and the chuckling kind, the eyeball sliding kind, the kind of hybrid laughing that swings sexual innuendo up and onto its shoulders and carries it there for hours without a twinge of backache. Uncontrolled grinning with sighs passed on through between them and pointed looks falling over stolen glances followed immediately in their wake.
When their eyes caught amid ridiculous smiling and fist bumps to celebrate the flow of jokes, he said, “Shit. JC did you feel that?”
She had never had a nickname before and she glowed almost visibly to the naked eye each time he let it flow smooth like sugared whiskey off his tongue.
She said, “Yeah, man. I feel it, too.” She smiled calm and natural. His expression turned serious, to a frown that seemed clownish, almost exaggerated in the merry context. He said, “No. I’m serious, Jill. I want to kiss you so bad right now.”
And they both laughed hard, without smiling.
"Pft." She said, "You’re fucking crazy, man. I’m way too old for you, but I know what you mean. I mean, I love you, man. So much shared conscious space between us, it’s crazy. I don’t know what to do. But I sure would like to drive all the way to Vegas and back holding your hand."
She laughed again and this time she smiled. But he didn’t.
Instead, he said, “No, I’m serious. I’m not talking about a one-night-stand or something stupid. I’m not talking about an affair.” He said, “I love you, too, but I mean like in the ‘I-could-seriously-commit-to-this way’.” He had shifted and was facing straight forward out the windshield, his eyes shiny and his mouth a straight line, voice low and full of weight.
"From the second we started really becoming friends, I have been thinking this and I haven’t stopped. I have not stopped one bit. I just think it and think it more and more. You’re it, you are the kind of woman who makes me think, ‘If I could just get a girl like that...’ I mean…”
Now, trailing off, his grin was back. He was bouncing on his toes even as he was sitting in the front seat of her car. And he was serious.
They had somehow gone beyond an acknowledgement of their profound chemistry, shared understanding and what was turning out to be a deep-seated attraction in a single instant and progressed straight into matters of commitment.
Neither one of them could breathe for the excitement and the energy and potential and the relief and the total madness fantasy of it. They were actually feeling something for each other that was not forced but rather quite spontaneous and fierce and intensely fun. It seemed, indeed, that perhaps this was a feeling to put all their shared and each of their monumental individual doubts to rest — maybe perfect love capable of fixing everything really did exist after all and they had just stumbled upon it.
She knew, maybe even he did, too, that they were just high high high as kites on the winds of shifting change - buzzed beyond good judgement on the rich clout of intellectual connection and the everyday familiarity of work friendships. In all likelihood, they both knew it was a complete load of crap, but in that moment, they did so both want to believe.
Few things rival the power - both destructive and creative, preposterous and true - of a single moment when two people both want to believe.
no advance notice
Lucy Cat Hampton sat in the chair in the corner by the window with her skirts all pulled up into bunched fists resting above her knees, leaving seven inches of exposed leg above the leather boots laced over her ankles. She invited the breeze to dance with the gathered layers of cotton. She was cooling herself off some, before the train arrived.
Her chair was wood with a slatted back that curved round to make armrests. It was mounted on a five spoke base with a small cast iron wheel at the end of each leg. It was an expensive chair. She had rolled it over to the corner by the window while sitting in it, away from the desk and the tapping telegraph machine and its tail of tape, pushing with her feet along the floorboards.
Lucy was no longer translating the series of clicks coming from the machine, hadn’t been for some time, and they registered to her ears and her mind now more as insects or as a musical beat. She began to let her left heel and toe tap and play and as she got more relief from the heat, she started to hum. The words, the messages, the codes coming from the distant poets of her destruction, the passengers approaching - always approaching - on that train, the words no longer mattered to her. Lucy had lost all urge to decipher.
Her final refusal to participate in the exchange had freed her of the last vestiges of her delusions of control. Along with them had gone all conflict between the two very different sets of messages she had so long been juggling, running, tottering between. There was the controlled, the artificial, the invented language of the machine and its senders at the opposite end — and then there was the lyrical music of her soul, the intuition of vibrations she felt from within, the texture of the track slats under her palms at dawn, and the movements that waltzed through her brain turning and turning in a huge circle of small circles into knowledge, all the more certain for its mysterious origin.
She no longer needed the straight key with its metered out lists, descriptions, warnings and information about the prime guests of the season. She wasn’t concerned with their quirks and needs and preferences. She no longer needed anything to guide her preparations. Lucy Cat Hampton was no longer in the business of harried anticipation. Lucy Cat Hampton knew that whoever was coming, whatever their idiosyncrasies, she could and would handle them — when the train arrived.
Lucy Cat Hampton took a long deep breath, let her chest rise and dropped her neck all the way back, let her long red hair hang loose almost back to the floor behind her chair. She arched like a bridge for the breeze that slipped up under the ruffle of her skirt, slid over her abdonmen and then back behind her ears by way of her soft neck. Lucky breeze flitted through the fringe of her tresses as it passed on out behind her and left her to wait for the train in solitude and peace.
in the room at the tower’s top
Poised and bent into a loose fist, her fingers hung over a cocked wrist ready to fling itself, trebuchet style, forward and over, wrapping knuckles into the wood of the door. There was a confrontation in that tiny space of air between her hand and the surface, between the toe of her boot sole and the floor as she had lifted each foot over and over again in her approach, striding down the stone-floored hall. The tension was a reflection of the contest of wills fast approaching, when they would come face-to-face with each other across differing values. Only an idiot would proceed without holding back and she did not know how to hold back. Thus, she passed her heels across the threshold knowing she was not going forward but rather stepping into withdrawal.
Sit still, live longer.
Recent cross-disciplinary research combining findings from the fields of medicine, anthropology, psychology and architectural engineering has uncovered the key factor to longevity lies in a sedentary lifestyle. Data indicate that cultural shifts requiring people to live largely sedentary lifestyles have provided them with uniquely high levels of desensitization to the ill effects of prolonged uselessness and inactivity. As a result of this accidental “life training”, researchers say, most older folks are less susceptible to factors which previously undermined their will to live. Numbed out and practiced at doing nothing and being of little purpose or function in the world, human bodies are now able to endure this kind of existence for record high periods. Based on the compiled findings, doctors, technicians and social scientists agree, doing nothing is the best way to increase your end of life endurance capacity and prolong your otherwise numbered days.
This isn’t about loving some body or not or enough or in a different way. This is something more essential. This is where the decision lays in. Like a reverse posse, like a gang on the run. This is where it is impossible to avoid scrambled egg feelings like the one you crack with the bloody speck of a chick living in it makes the whole carton seem little less than abhorrent. Where the differences raised like the inside out welt on a skin scraped with a sharp tool fashioned from something else for that purpose. A bobby pin etching from inside the organ sans pipe or heated element.The words inlaid read it’s impossible to be courteous or less than insulting, they read toxic warnings, they read gentleness now will be cause for shame later. They read like rock between the lines of the hardest place you never lied to yourself you weren’t going. And the hoping nor it’s failure makes you lame. Makes me lame. Nothing could make us lame having first loved in the name of it. I thought that my rawness made me more vulnerable and then less perhaps but lately it all feels too real and uncomfortable and I am not sure. Not sure of being not sure at all. And it’s a long time to hide out still out in the open with no hideout. All peeled back layers and no lair.
There wasn’t an “S-curve” around that didn’t drop its head slightly in shame at the sight of her. Her cleavage was suspended on such a gravity defying cliff of sheer stiff protuberance there was no way I couldn’t not look. It was firm and deep and balanced so far out front, a hawkers tray on a harness. Out back, the same cliff-hanging defiance this time extended in the opposite direction, out over a set of five-inch spiked pumps. Between, her waist was cinched as tight as the obvious right answer on the top student’s quiz. It was a lock down. She was a sine wave in motion. A perfect human animation come alive in rolling vibrance.
Overall the effect of her was outrageously stunning and truly impossible not to gawk at. But what completely floored me was the pointed, intentional and unmistakably shaming look she shot at the woman getting out of her Mercedes Benz next to me. It was windy and a gust caught the middle-aged woman’s car door just as she opened it, swinging it wide. A trail of trash confetti blew up from the door pocket console and went skittering across the grocery store parking lot.
That’s when that gorgeous black woman, every hair, each accessory, each daring curve with all it’s geometrical suspension and truth, every last tiny bit of that woman’s poise in its exact right perfect place. She turned her chin slightly, snapped her neck in a quick short jerk, and stuck her disapproving eyes on that lady like glue. With the slightest curve of her lips, the rise of her appled cheek and spiked eyebrow, with her intense gaze she managed to say so much.
Woman, her look said, Oh Woman. You do not want to be the rich white lady caught littering in my neighborhood, dropping your plastic tooth flossers on my grocery’s parking lot. You know, or you should know, that behavior only marks you, puts you out front in the running to be the poor widow with too much furniture in the retirement home. And, you know what? Nobody, but nobody, wants to sit next to that bitch at dinner. Mhm, you might just as well quit wasting your time flossing now because ain’t nobody going to get close enough to smell your breath when you’re old.
It was one mean look.
Let me tell you. I almost cried and she wasn’t even looking in my direction. I took heart. I considered it a near miss. I secured all my trash before I opened my car door and I bought floss in a big canister when I went in to do my shopping.