I have always had a variety of getaway Eden locations; they’re scattered about the globe and the list has grown over the years. One of my Edens is AJ’s Fine Foods in Arcadia. Once a week I visit their bakery, drink their coffee, park myself in a huge overstuffed club chair near the floral department and seek solutions to  my favorite crossword puzzle.

Today I arrived on my French (Chinese built) Motobecane bicycle, discovering upon arrival that I’d forgotten my U Bolt.

I left this somewhat expensive two-wheeled conveyance near the entrance, bought a cookie, bought  a coffee, bought a paper with a puzzle and repaired to the patio; no charge for yesterday’s news and the coffee was better than Starbucks.

It was 1:00 P.M; I looked around for an outdoor table in the shade and seated myself near the veiled “COMING SOON” window  of a new store under construction and focused for a few seconds on my unlocked bicycle a few feet away.

As I penned in the word “circumference” I heard two youngish female voices approaching. Suddenly the chattier of the two remarked as though suddenly encountering an erection, “what do we have here?” And in they went.

“Excuse me” she addressed the foreman, “Excuse me sir, may we watch you work for a minute?” I could hear the crew boss’ initial displeasure morph to a new awareness as his impatient demeanor suddenly adapted to the situation at hand.

“C’mon in”. In response to the inquiries The man in the hard hat told them what he could about the store  which would soon be ready for business. I  could hear construction sounds whir to a stop and the F bombs replaced with smiles that could be heard for blocks.

I took notes and planned THE INTERVIEW,

Inspired, I wrote in the scrambled shorthand of the demented, realizing too late that I only had time for a smile and a nod as the two lovely females passed before me to enter AJ’s. I continued to write.

Now in case you are thinking that I was motivated with the usual male madness so prevalent in the spring time, allow me to draw attention to the fact that it is autumn not only for those who rake leaves but for people like the one who greeted me in the mirror this morning, the guy with the thinning, gray hair and crinkly eyes reminding me that winter is near.

No, one of these statuesque young ladies  was going to be questioned by a curious, aging writer who wondered why the taller of the two reminded him of his father.

And here they came, each with a pastry and a coffee… “Excuse me” I smiled and stood. Would you like to join me? My name is Lee Broom, I am a writer and I would like to conduct an interview if that’ okay with you.

I was looking into the eyes of a six-foot one inch persona whose blue (no green, no grey) orbs revealed that she had few secrets. As they seated themselves  the tall Iman-ish one started; Are you a reporter? A blogger? A playwright? A talk show host?  Five minutes later the inquisitive one apologized for her carpe diem moment, returned the gavel and paused. I didn’t mean to switch roles; let THE INTERVIEW begin.”

“Actually”, I replied, “you told me a lot about your self; you’re a model, I have seen you on the cover of Elle, you are inquisitive, you gather your own information and are surprisingly tolerant of those whose goals in life are to mimic the more popular of their friends. You set standards but only as a default because your purpose in life is to improve it. My name again is Lee Broom and I handed her my card and exchanged smiles with both ladies and stood.

Hand shakes. No hugs.

I watched them walk away. A gust of cool, wintry air blew across my cheeks.



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