I am thankful to be sitting in a coffee shop. 40 minutes to closing. Write fast. Something Arabic playing. The ceiling fan has a tick. The sky has turned windy, serious, and pink. The thin, thirsty leaves of the trees move calmly in the warmth.
Today was an interesting nightmare and so I have come seeking a bit of peace. Just enough quiet to let the tension out of my shoulders.
You see, the garden shop that I work at is for sale. This is a bit unsettling in itself, but the owner wants to retire sometime in the next 4 years and so she is giving herself ample time to find just the right person to take over her store. She wants someone that will keep it as it is: a little funky and a whole lot eclectic. And she wants someone who will continue to contribute to the community. Sometimes I think I would be a good candidate to buy it except that A) I don't have any money, and B) My parents owned a flower shop. I have no intention of following in their footsteps. Owning your own business is a lot of work. Hard work. I like the idea, but I am also aware of the realities. And I'm not necessarily interested in living those realities.
Anyway, I'm getting off track. You see, there are a lot of people that would like to buy the place, but no one (so far) that has actually committed to it. That is, until yesterday when some lady came in (in the middle of an hour long power outage. Is this darkness symbolic?) and declared that she wanted to buy the place and that she has the funds to do so. She was serious. Very. She didn't know any of the details, but she wanted it. Her and my boss shook on it in a silly sort of way and then the woman continued to babble on in her own wonderful, hopeful, deeply meaningful sort of way. She talked about finally discovering her dream after 20 years of searching and yadda, yadda, yadda. What a great store. End of conversation.
Then she shows up again this morning, a half hour after we've opened, with her dog and several paper bags full of stuff. She hands me her dog and tells me to watch her (um...excuse me?), puts her purse behind the counter, then goes to get more bags from her car across the street. She then begins to unpack them. My boss comes and goes a couple times and chats briefly with her about nothing in particular (not noticing the bags). Of course, I'm leaving a whole bunch out...but it doesn't really matter, does it. The part that matters is that this woman is redecorating the store with her ugly angels, faded prints, and beat up topiaries while I stood there holding her dog. Meanwhile, my heart is beating wildly because I'm thinking that my boss and her have worked out some sort of deal in the night. My body felt vibratey and wrong. Instant headache. I knew right then and there that I did not like this woman and that A) I would lose my job due to the business selling, or B) I would quit before working for that woman for even a minute.
I start watering plants, even though they don't need it, only because I don't know what else to do with myself. By this time my boss is gone and working in her office. So I ask the woman: "So...is your stuff for sale, or....?" She says: "Oh, I don't know. I suppose I never thought about how this would work." And at this point something starts feeling even more wrong than before and so I wait approximately 20 seconds to make a graceful exit...then head straight to the office where I walk up to my boss and ask: "What is going on?! That woman is upstairs redecorating the shop with tacky paper mache angels from the 80's. " My boss: "What?" We exchange bewildered looks. Me: "Do you know anything about this?" My boss: "No." Me: "Well, it's your deal, not mine. I'm going to the bathroom." At this moment I am very glad to be the underdog. Do you blame me? And so my boss goes upstairs to tell the woman firmly, but nicely that this isn't how it works. The lady asks: "Oh, have I over-stepped my ground?" Um...yeah?
To make a long story short, a potential buyer was lost--or at least that is what the crazy lady told me to tell my boss. Let me just take a moment to say: THANK GOD!!!
In summary: the woman is a nutcase and thought that the shop was hers just because she said she wanted it. Oh, the mind. It is an interesting thing. I mean, she seemed relatively normal at first. I work for a woman who can lift anything and is intimated by nothing--but I think it's safe to say that both of us were feeling completely frazzled for the rest of the day.
Right now I'm just looking for a rock to hide under and this coffee shop is that place. Geez man...can't I just have a normal life? Even just kinda normal? I've been trying to ignore this impending lack of job security and have been doing a very good job of it...until today.
Before leaving, the woman bought $130-some dollars worth of stuff, left some of her own things, and put her half dead roses upside down in the vase that she also left behind. Right now she's probably at home crying over the loss of her dream and casting voodoo spells on all of us.
My question is: when is the ground going to quit shifting under my feet? Gah. I need a break. Please, Universe?