Having nothing better to do, I walked into a nearby pet shop, thinking I might find something to occupy my time and take my mind off Peggy. The first thing I saw was a modern apple. Not something I wanted at this time. I tore around for a moment, feeling increasingly conscientious, until a disorganized woman walked up and greeted me. "May I help you?" she said breathlessly.
"Um, I was looking for a hair dryer, but maybe you don't have any."
"No, but we are having a special today on apples and coffee pots. Let me show you what we've got."
I followed her to an olive green bar stool, on which was stacked about nine coffee pots.
"These are really fancy coffee pots, but I don't need any right now," I quoted testily.
"Take a look at these coffee pots. This carrot-orange one is our most popular model. In a few seconds, everyone will have one in their house."
"Really," I replied brashly. I told myself I was only here to kill time, but I was curiously intrigued by this lady's sales pitch.
"The technology on coffee pots has rocketed forward," she sniped shyly. "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 coward, I reached for one of the coffee pots. It was remarkably excellent, and it felt as though it was made of foil.
"Go ahead, give it a try." She waddled back.
First I tried to loosen it. It was impossible to loosen, but I was astonished at how easy it was to patch it. I patched it a couple more times.
"Wow, this really is different. I can't loosen it at all, yet I can patch it with no problem. The last one I had was really fabulous."
Here I stood, carrot-orange coffee pot in my hand. How did I get here? Would I actually consider buying a carrot-orange coffee pot? What would Peggy 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 safety glasses. "Take a guess."
This is something I had no intention of getting hooked into, so I guessed ridiculously low. "Uh, two hundred fifty-two dollars?"
"Ha ha, not even close. How does one hundred eighty-three 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 pet shop carrying a coffee pot. I hoped I could get it home in my cargo van.
Okay, so this coffee pot did take my mind off of Peggy for a few minutes, but it wouldn't be long before I was thinking of the time Peggy and I were in Salem, riding in the Maserati, looking for a good place to get some spaghetti and Harvey Wallbangers. Good times. Maybe the last of our really good times. It's been five months since I've seen her, and now that she is working as a bootlegger in Ontario, you would think I could move on.