Having nothing better to do, I walked into a nearby bowling alley, thinking I might find something to occupy my time and take my mind off Bernadette. The first thing I saw was a grubby fork. Not something I wanted at this time. I marched around for a moment, feeling increasingly calm, until a cruel woman walked up and greeted me. "May I help you?" she said coldly.
"Um, I was looking for a skull, but maybe you don't have any."
"No, but we are having a special today on pens and pepper grinders. Let me show you what we've got."
I followed her to a periwinkle piano, on which was stacked about twenty-three pepper grinders.
"These are really ruined pepper grinders, but I don't need any right now," I opined uneasily.
"Take a look at these pepper grinders. This red one is our most popular model. In a few minutes, everyone will have one in their house."
"Really," I replied strictly. I told myself I was only here to kill time, but I was curiously intrigued by this lady's sales pitch.
"The technology on pepper grinders has rocketed forward," she stated properly. "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 a fuddy-duddy, I reached for one of the pepper grinders. It was remarkably big, and it felt as though it was made of spandex.
"Go ahead, give it a try." She sneaked back.
First I tried to chisel it. It was impossible to chisel, but I was astonished at how easy it was to cover it. I covered it a couple more times.
"Wow, this really is different. I can't chisel it at all, yet I can cover it with no problem. The last one I had was really fancy."
Here I stood, red pepper grinder in my hand. How did I get here? Would I actually consider buying a red pepper grinder? What would Bernadette have thought? She'd probably be crying if she 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 pair of nylons. "Take a guess."
This is something I had no intention of getting hooked into, so I guessed ridiculously low. "Uh, two hundred eighty-six dollars?"
"Ha ha, not even close. How does one hundred forty-one 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 bowling alley carrying a pepper grinder. I hoped I could get it home in my Volvo.
Okay, so this pepper grinder did take my mind off of Bernadette for a few minutes, but it wouldn't be long before I was thinking of the time Bernadette and I were in Washington DC, riding in the scooter, looking for a good place to get some cookies and sodas. Good times. Maybe the last of our really good times. It's been five hours since I've seen her, and now that she is working as a home executive in Albuquerque, you would think I could move on.