Anyway, I went out running yesterday and got a cramp in my calf the first 1/2 mile. I ran through it but after mile 4.5 it was obvious the cramp was winning and I was losing so I ground to a halt and checked my phone (like you do) trillian_stars had texted to say that I needed to go to the Army/Navy surplus store and get something for the Nephew for his birthday. He's 14, you know, he likes the kind of stuff they have at the Army/Navy surplus store, like guys do forever.
Running in a graveyard with a Neil Gaiman hat Kitty sent me
So I posted to Facebook asking for advice and there was a lot of it and it was relatively consistant and pretty hysterical ("big knife, swiss army knife, trench knife, night vision goggles, butterfly knife....")
So I limped down to the Army Navy store smelling like a sweaty hobo while Trillian got on the Amtrak to New York to go to a birthday party.
I wandered around the basement of the store, sniffing a bunch of vintage wool trench coats, trying on helmets, asking if they had any bigger bayonets, trying out fishing nets and whatnot. Once I got the presents in hand I started home and by this time it was night.
I was whistling a happy tune and strolling through Philadelphia enjoying the evening when out of the corner of my eye I caught a sign that said:
ARTISANAL CHOCOLATES AND CLOCHE HATS
And I knew this was some sort of husband test -- this was a store that didn't exist during the day or for other people passing by, it popped up from fairy land right there because it needed to be there for me -- like E.M. Forester's Celestial Omnibus or the Phantom Tollbooth. I stood and looked through the window at the trays of chocolates being dusted by elves, the hats being fitted on mannequins that could be living heads by glowing skinned willows with unnaturally long nails and I went in.
"Give me your finest chocolates, and your roundest cloche hat," I said (still in a track suit, smelling like a hobo but now carrying a bag full of mothballed Korean War camouflage netting, five cakes of expired shark repellant, and a signal canon.)
They smiled knowingly and put my chocolate and hat into a box.
On the bus on the way home a woman with a bag of knitting and a Downton Abbey box set got really excited when she saw my bag from ARTISANAL CHOCOLATES AND CLOCHE HATS. "Oh my," she said, and launched into a monologue about chocolate. It was a pleasant ride home and I felt buoyed by the thought that I'd done a good job at being a person that day.
That night I cleaned the house and I worked on some magazine articles that I needed to finish and Roswell played with the box.
The next morning Trillian came home and she opened the box and put on the hat and we went to the birthday party, smelling of mothballs, fancy chocolate and love.
Clickenzee to Embiggen
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