22 June 2014


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.


  1. Sounds yuk. Did you run for the hills?

  2. Sounds like that little burg has been invaded by alien body snatchers. Just looking at that damn chair would have sent me running for the hills!

    Are you sure they were not all practicing for a play at the community theater?

    1. So you don't have people like that in Colorado? But you are right Mama Thyme, they could have been actors preparing to perform "Merrily We Roll Along".

  3. Don't they have special hospitals there? Perhaps you'd wandered into one.
    The women are just barking but the bloke sounds as if he's a right count.

    1. That fellow made a shiver run don my spine. I had the feeling that he could have been a sex offender... He had a campervan parked round the back.

    2. More fool you for speaking to him.

    3. Yes I know. It is always inadvisable to communicate with campervan guys..

    4. Glad he didn't ask you to go and look at some puppies YP!

    5. He'd have learnt all about Yorkshire Pudding batter Molly!

  4. Seedy characters seem to pop up everywhere, don't they?! We, on the other hand, while camping in the wilderness of the mighty Cascade Range, heard a knock on our camper door.....and a sweet little English voice asking if it was too late to see the rabbits!!! We're talking 9pm and in the woods! Well, of course we dropped the truck tailgate and visited over the rabbits for a good 40 minutes. She said she was originally from Yorkshire, hence the accent! Small, small world or maybe you, Mr Pudding and she, camp hostess for the summer, have SWITCHED PLACES? Hmm. Spies, no doubt........Well, stay away from seedy, questionable characters and PLEASE don't humor reprobates who speak thusly of things they shouldn't!


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