Friday, December 10, 2010

holding my breath

I've been looking forward to renewing my driver's license. It's worth $75.00 to get rid of my mug shot. Or mugged shot. It made me look like a victim in a police report. A bad hair day, the mandatory no smile policy and my own lack of photographic charm had conspired to give me the haunted look of a homeless woman with a criminal past. I was determined to raise the bar.
I hadn't counted on the Deli affect.
Halvah for my husband was on my Christmas list, and what better place to get it than a German Deli. A quick detour on the way to the Motor Vehicle Branch couldn't go wrong I thought. Into Doris' Deli I bounded.
The glass fronted cases held every imaginable, indigestible delicacy. Wonderful worst, lovely liver sausage, the sweet, the spicy; Cheeses and chocolates. Pyramids of fruited cakes and crisp cookies towered over marzipan animals. The rare, the exotic, the imported, the foil wrapped, it was all there in dazzling variety.
I found my thoughts turning to my father. He loved those kinds of treats. As age and health limited the things he could do and enjoy, edible treats became a favorite gift.
I felt a longing to see my father's eyes shining with pleasure again.
I knew a growing desire to tell someone, anyone, that my father would not be here for Christmas this year. I quickly made my purchase and dashed out to my car with the sweet notes of a German Carol clinging to my heart.
I cried so hard I had to mop up the tears at the next red light. And the next one too.
I pulled into the Motor Vehicle Branch with red puffy eyes and a pink nose.
Fortunately, there was the usual wait. Waiting and watching can be a very pleasant way to pass time and I found myself recovering.
I eventually stood on the orange spot on the floor and stared benignly at the camera, although pleasantly and with an aura of mustered dignity I hope. In a week I'll know for sure. I'm holding my breath.

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