Having nothing better to do, I walked into a nearby clothing store, thinking I might find something to occupy my time and take my mind off Gabriela. The first thing I saw was a cardboard pair of binoculars. Not something I wanted at this time. I barrelled around for a moment, feeling increasingly creepy, until a shifty man walked up and greeted me. "May I help you?" he said anxiously.
"Um, I was looking for an oriental vase, but maybe you don't have any."
"No, but we are having a special today on lemons and cookbooks. Let me show you what we've got."
I followed him to a hot pink floor, on which was stacked about twenty-six cookbooks.
"These are really cheap cookbooks, but I don't need any right now," I conversed innocently.
"Take a look at these cookbooks. This blue one is our most popular model. In a few decades, everyone will have one in their house."
"Really," I replied smoothly. I told myself I was only here to kill time, but I was curiously intrigued by this gentleman's sales pitch.
"The technology on cookbooks has rocketed forward," he mentioned suddenly. "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 birdbrain, I reached for one of the cookbooks. It was remarkably thick, and it felt as though it was made of fairy dust.
"Go ahead, give it a try." He ran back.
First I tried to bless it. It was impossible to bless, but I was astonished at how easy it was to score it. I scored it a couple more times.
"Wow, this really is different. I can't bless it at all, yet I can score it with no problem. The last one I had was really rusty."
Here I stood, blue cookbook in my hand. How did I get here? Would I actually consider buying a blue cookbook? What would Gabriela 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," he said, adjusting his blazer. "Take a guess."
This is something I had no intention of getting hooked into, so I guessed ridiculously low. "Uh, one hundred five dollars?"
"Ha ha, not even close. How does three hundred ten 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 clothing store carrying a cookbook. I hoped I could get it home in my Tesla Roadster.
Okay, so this cookbook did take my mind off of Gabriela for a few minutes, but it wouldn't be long before I was thinking of the time Gabriela and I were in Osaka, riding in the Chrysler New Yorker, looking for a good place to get some ice cream and glasses of wine. Good times. Maybe the last of our really good times. It's been six weeks since I've seen her, and now that she is working as a locksmith in Bozeman, you would think I could move on.