My wife and I are sitting at the Millwork desk at a Home Depot. We are there because we need something. This thing that we hope to buy will enrich our lives and fulfill our wildest fantasies of living a content and happy existence. Garage doors. I get excited when the sales associate shows me the different insulation configurations. I don’t know what an R-Value is, but I don’t want to skimp out and get a 6.3 rating when I could spring for the 12.7. The conversation is enthralling. Until we’re interrupted.
A woman in sky blue hospital scrubs and fuzzy ski boots approaches the desk and taps her long nails on the counter. Melissa, our garage door concierge, tries to focus her attention on my wife’s question.
“Lots of people have been switching from a chain-driven mechanism to a belted one,” she explains, her eyes darting to the rapping cuticles. “It’s much quieter.”
The woman is flanked by a skinny man who looks as though he’s worked some hard jobs in his life. He too is wearing sky blue. “I don’t mean to bother yinz, but as soon as you’re done I got some questions about sashes,” she says. “I need a new sash.”
“We unfortunately don’t just sell sashes here,” Melissa replies.
“Maybe Lowe’s sells them,” the sky blue nurse says and winks at her.
“They don’t. I used to work there.”
“Ok, well I guess I’ll just have to get a whole new winduh. Don’t rush though. I’m very patient.”
Melissa turns back to my wife and I and attempts to wrap up the transaction. “So for a small upgrade, you can get steel casing instead of vinyl. It’s just more durable.”
“”Yeah, I need that new window because my brother broke the last one,” the sky blue nurse blurts out.
Melissa turns again, “That’s too bad. I hope he’s paying for it.”
“Nah, he can’t pay for it ‘cause he’s dead!”
I’m kicking my wife under the desk. Melissa makes the sound that organically rises in the human throat when a stranger gives you lots of information in a quick amount of time. “Oh.”
“I didn’t want to replace the winduh for a long time though because he was always drunk and it reminded me of him,” sky blue nurse explains further. “I’ll probably just take a picture of it an’ frame it or sumthin’.”
“Ok well, we can get you set up in a minute.”
“No problem,” she replies. “I’m very patient.”