Having nothing better to do, I walked into a nearby ad agency, thinking I might find something to occupy my time and take my mind off Edmond. The first thing I saw was a mysterious chamber pot. Not something I wanted at this time. I made a beeline around for a moment, feeling increasingly talkative, until a prickly woman walked up and greeted me. "May I help you?" she said calmly.
"Um, I was looking for a bouquet, but maybe you don't have any."
"No, but we are having a special today on doilies and toys. Let me show you what we've got."
I followed her to an orange card table, on which was stacked about four toys.
"These are really broken toys, but I don't need any right now," I answered wryly.
"Take a look at these toys. This maroon one is our most popular model. In a few months, everyone will have one in their house."
"Really," I replied rapidly. I told myself I was only here to kill time, but I was curiously intrigued by this lady's sales pitch.
"The technology on toys has rocketed forward," she comforted mysteriously. "If you haven't seen one of these, you're in for a treat."
"Well, no, I guess I haven't. What makes these so special?"
"Pick one up and take a good look at it."
Feeling like an airhead, I reached for one of the toys. It was remarkably brightly-colored, and it felt as though it was made of stucco.
"Go ahead, give it a try." She dove back.
First I tried to develop it. It was impossible to develop, but I was astonished at how easy it was to photograph it. I photographed it a couple more times.
"Wow, this really is different. I can't develop it at all, yet I can photograph it with no problem. The last one I had was so disgusting."
Here I stood, maroon toy in my hand. How did I get here? Would I actually consider buying a maroon toy? What would Edmond have thought? He'd probably be crying if he could see me now.
"How much is it?" I asked in spite of myself.
"That's the other amazing thing about these," she said, adjusting her belly button jewel. "Take a guess."
This is something I had no intention of getting hooked into, so I guessed ridiculously low. "Uh, two hundred nineteen dollars?"
"Ha ha, not even close. How does one hundred sixty dollars sound?"
"That sounds great." I couldn't believe I was saying this. "I'll take it."
I'm not an impulsive person, but now I was walking out of the ad agency carrying a toy. I'd need a Porsche to get it home.
Okay, so this toy did take my mind off of Edmond for a few minutes, but it wouldn't be long before I was thinking of the time Edmond and I were in Victoria, riding in the Cadillac Escalade, looking for a good place to get some sauerkraut and piña coladas. Good times. Maybe the last of our really good times. It's been seven years since I've seen him, and now that he is working as an Egyptologist in Los Angeles, you would think I could move on.