The Slow-Cooked Sentence

We met in line at the fabric store

Rachael Conlin Levy
“DiscountFabrics” by scallywagsf.

He looked like a Vietnam vet, bald with a roll of fat at the back of his neck and a paunch. He was in the fabric store, alone with ten bolts of fleece in a riot of colors and motifs: giant watermelon slices, over-sized holly berries, polka dots, tie-dye, sunflowers, polar bears.

He took off his hat, a floppy fleece-y thing that bunched at the top, and showed it to the employee. It reminded me of something … a head cozy, the blob of frosting on a cupcake … I couldn’t put my finger on it.

“I’ll have 27 hats when my wife finishes these. One for almost every day of the month. My wife says I sweat a lot and the hats stink.”

The employee cutting the fabric nodded. I smiled weakly.

“I have a pink one for Valentine’s Day and an orange one that looks like a pumpkin for Halloween.”

“Where will you wear the polka dots?” I asked.

“New Year’s or my birthday.”

“Or the circus,” I suggested.

The employee slid the stack of cut fleece across the counter and he walked away. But we met again in the cashier’s line, where he shared more about his hats: The wife sells them in Apple Hill; they’re modeled after the old-fashioned ice bags.

“Of course!” I said.

And beamed at him for solving the niggling question of the hat’s familiarity.

The ice bag has a new occupation.

One response to “We met in line at the fabric store”

  1. How funny! And i'm very envious of your access to a lovely fabric store- they are few and far between here…

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