I opened the front door and made way down the steps to a sunny and brisk morning. Oh, fall was in the air for sure, as kids ran past me on their way to school and people hurried to wherever it is that they go. The storefronts were opening and the neighborhood was waking up and the smell of the bakery was on my mind. Walking along with a determination in my step, I came up behind Mrs. Finkle. You know, that meek and somewhat sour little lady that owns the embroidery shop?
“Good morning Mrs. Finkle,” I said, tipping my hat to her. “It’s such a pretty day don’t you think? It’s so dry and breezy, don’t you just love it?”
Mrs. Finkle started shaking her head no and muttered, “Oh I hate how the weather always changes, it’s like this now but you just wait five minutes.”
I saw she was dressed in her Sunday best. She always was dressed to the nines. “You look wonderful today Mrs. Finkle, is that a new outfit?
“Oh I hate how this fits, I’m so uncomfortable really.”
We strolled silently together, me greeting passers-by with a smile, and she trudging along, concentrating on the pavement ahead.
ME: How about that Dr Drew? It’s amazing how many shows he has now, wow, he’s all over the place!
MRS. FINKLE: Oh I hate how he goes on about everything. He’s such a Mr. Know It All. Him and that other character, what’s his name?
ME: Dr. Phil?
MRS. FINKLE: Yeh, Dr. Phil, that one.
Our steps were in tandem, the only sound Mrs. Finkle’s struggling breath.
ME: I hear you’re going to Chattanooga. Are you ready for your trip? They say it’s a lovely place.
MRS. FINKLE: Oh I hate being in the car so long, I get that vertigo ya know, I can’t sit for that long.
I still had a smile on my face, despite Mrs. Finkle’s frown. I quickened my pace and my mind wandered and I began daydreaming. I imagined walking in the front door of the bakery, to the chimes ringing and the warm and delicious smell. I started picturing babkas and italian bread and ryes and crusty sourdoughs, freshly baked and right out of the oven. I began salivating over the canolis and lemon cakes and fruit torts and chocolates galore, which would gladden even the saddest of hearts.
I couldn’t wait to get my number.
ME: I’m on my way to the bakery, Mrs. Finkle. Would you like me to pick something up for you?
She paused for thought then looked up at me sharply, a smile forming on her face.
MRS. FINKLE: Oh I love the bakery, do you mind if I tag along?
ME: I’d be delighted.