|Rocking chair made of horseshoes |
outside the junk shop in Sequim
Sequim, Washington State.
At Serenity Square - the shopping centre on the west of town - I am entering a bric-a-brac store while Shirley investigates the quilting shop next door. There are two women in the doorway and I have to say "excuse me" to get by. They are conversing with the slick haired proprietor who will later inform me that he has worshipped "the vulva" all his life.
I am looking for old American bottles. This is one of several junk shops and thrift stores I have perused in the last week. I become aware of the women's conversation...
WOMAN A You know, I don't like to tell too many people but I have a special gift. I can read people like a book and I can tell you all about their past lives and what they've done. It's kinda scary.
WOMAN B Well I've got that gift too!
WOMAN A No way! First time I told my husband what he'd been doing all day his jaw kinda dropped. He jus' couldn't believe it..
WOMAN B You know it was jus the same with my Mac. He couldn't speak at first. It's kinda spiritual. I feel blessed to have the gift.
WOMAN A Yeah, blessed. I feel that too. It's like I can look right inside people. I feel it's God's love inside me. Guiding me. Like I've bin chosen.
WOMAN B I feel the same way...
And then they stroll off from the doorway back to their obscure homes in this little known corner of America. The greasy haired shopkeeper with the tartan sweater is chuckling about his visitors and we have a mutual exchange of derision and disbelief.
"The only gift I've got is to get up every morning", he says.
And I say, "The only gift I have got is common sense. I've got bags of that."
Then we fall into our own conversation and he manages to steer it into his favourite territory which is women - or more specifically "the vulva". He is a complete stranger but very quickly I am learning about his sexual preferences and his earliest encounters with the unfortunate objects of his desire. It is not the kind of conversation I have with other men in my local pub. We tend to avoid that private hinterland and none of us are blessed with third eyes that allow us to look into other people's souls.