One woman, lots of paint and hundreds of tiles. If you're here because you found a painted tile, it's yours to keep.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Bonnie of the Patties

You’d never know Bonnie is 49 years old. She’s always stayed young-looking by doing every new thing that comes down the pike -- eye jobs, lifts, tucks, whatever it takes. She runs out to the mall after work, not to go clothes shopping but to get liposuction, because you can do that in her fancy schmantzy plastic little town.

But eventually some of the procedures that had served her well for so long began to take a turn for the worse. She thought, for instance, that her eye job was a success, but then her right eye began drooping in a way her left did not. She knew it was only a matter of time before her boob job did something similar. Despite all the pain and money, and all the fat she’d had sucked out of her at the mall, she still found herself craving those little peppermint patties she adored. She swore she wouldn’t have anymore after getting liposuction at the mall … but afterwards she went home and dropped into bed, and no sooner did her head hit the pillow than she was dreaming of peppermint patties galore raining down from the sky.

She awoke with an overwhelming urge to get the cool sensation. So, looking all tired and still wearing her blue jammies with the cows all over them, she drove down to the 24-hour grocery store, grabbed the biggest bag of Peppermint Patties she could find and a small carton of milk and got in line.

A sweet redhead named Roxy asked her what she was doing out in her jammies so late at night, and whether her work was keeping her up that late. Bonnie told her she didn’t have a job, and Roxy commented that she understood how that feels and how hard life can be at times. She was the nicest cashier ever, yet Bonnie was annoyed after realizing that Roxy only charged her for only the milk and not the patties. She had the feeling that Roxy thought she was poor or that she lost her job, when the truth is that she just didn’t need one, what with the trust find and all that.

Bonnie didn’t like being thought of as poor, and yet in this moment, as her well-intended efforts to look younger were backfiring on her, she too felt very sorry for herself, hence the undeniable middle-of-the-night craving for peppermint patties, which were sometimes the only way she could fill that big void in her life.

Roxy, of course, understood all that because Roxy is Roxy. She insists that it’s possible to be poor, worn out and abused by the system and this entire screwed-up society, and still have a wallet fat enough to buy plastic surgery and new parts that don’t always work out. “Those people might be financially rich,” she was always saying. “But that doesn’t mean they’re better off then the rest of us. Sometimes they need kindness too, and free stuff, even if it is just peppermint patties.”

Bonnie wasn't accustomed to people being kind to her, because she wasn’t all that kind to people, mostly because she didn’t really care about them. This whole cashier encounter irritated her, but then on her way home it also kinda made her cry because that cashier didn’t even know her and her niceness was probably the closet thing Bonnie had felt to unconditional love since her mom died when she was little.

So there she was in the middle of the night, driving down the road in her blue cow jammies, stuffing mini peppermint patties into her mouth, and crying, but just from the one eye, ‘cause the other one is all screwed up from her eye job. Sometimes Bonnie wished she never got all that surgery. Maybe she shoulda just tried to cut back on the peppermint patties and late-night ice cream, and tried harder not to get all bent out of shape about a few wrinkles.

Bonnie is in an Auto Guide box near the mailbox at Southland Shopping Center on State Road 84 in Fort Lauderdale. It's blue, like her jammies.


At 12:30 PM, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

No cows on the box?
(nice stories still, I hope you never run out of tiles)

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Mary Tiler More said...

No cows. Haha.
Thanks ... I might be running out of tiles if I had more time to paint them ... but that's not likely to happen anytime soon, so I guess I'm good for awhile. Thanks for reading!


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