She Got Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes

2-28-13  List exercise  4 items

  • Things that are old    Pyramids, Mom, big trees, Grandpa
  • Color                            Blue
  • Time of day                Afternoon
  • A barter                      Cookies for new soles on your shoes


“So, what do you think?  Is a couple dozen cookies fair for new soles on my shoes?”  I had been flapping around in my old loafers for a week now, and finally broke down.  The village cobbler was an old guy named Gus, and I had been keeping my shoes going by Gus for about seven years now.

“Well, I suppose the cookies would have to be pretty spectacular for both shoes.  I’d be happy to do one for a couple dozen chocolate chips.  Leather these days, you know.”

“What about I make it three dozen, and throw in some walnuts?”  I was feeling a little bit creative today, but living in a town with a local currency and free barter was just wearing me down.  Maybe if I just offered to invite him over for Thanksgiving dinner.  What’s one more mouth when I could pay off all my debts in town with one big blowout of a meal and everyone got invited.

Gus was on a roll. “Do you have any cranberries?  I’d go for three dozen with chocolate chips, walnuts and cranberries!”

“Done,” I said.  “I’ll drop the shoes off this afternoon, and start baking.  Any idea how long it might be?”

Gus got a faraway look in his eyes, like he was imagining those cookies and a tall glass of cold milk.  A sheen had broken out on his forehead.  “Well, Mother’s making supper tonight, so I may have some extra time.  How about tomorrow afternoon?  Does that suit you?”

“That’s fine.  I’ll stop by after work with the cookies.”  I headed out, making a mental note to not forget the shoes.  I chuckled at that bit about Mother.  Everyone in town knew that Gus, at sixty five, still lived at home with his mother who was pushing ninety.  The old bat could still cook.

It was a lovely day, with a clear blue sky.  I headed off to the bookstore, meaning to get it opened and sorted by nine thirty.  Folks usually straggled in on and off through the late morning, and I had some barter writing to do before then.  That Farralon couple wanted a poem for their newborn son.  That should be good for a chicken.

I passed by the travel agency and looked at the posters in the window.  I went by them every day, and never got tired of dreaming of far off places.  I wondered which body part I would have to barter for a trip to the Pyramids.  Had someone mentioned kidney trouble at the last town meeting?  I could spare a lobe of liver for the town alky.  Everyone knew he was a tight old miser who probably had the first penny he ever stole.  It would be mighty satisfying to get him to stick a crowbar in his wallet just because he didn’t know the meaning of the words moderation and temperance.  I sure would like to see those pyramids, and maybe ride on a camel.

The bell above the door dinged as I opened the store.  I brought in a couple of boxes of old books dropped off by folks hoping for a credit.  They always tried, but I hadn’t found a real treasure in ten years.  Not since Old Lady Westerly started going blind and brought in her entire collection of signed Hemingways.  I think she thought they were cookbooks.

I started sorting, and tried to think of who I could get cranberries from.

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