My Trip to The Mechanic


I was looking down with a book on my lap. I was reading “Eat, Pray and Love” when this gregarious, slender lady – she must have been 5’4”, 110 pounds and in her late 50’s to 60’s, walked up and sat on the only (well, there were two; the other was occupied by me) remaining run down, comfortable enough to sit, beach seat.

The lady: “Oh alo! “

Me: “Hello, how are you.”, I replied and went back to my reading.

The lady: “Oh man, I’m tired; djou know”

I did not respond and attempted to continue reading. She drops her bag on the floor, takes some magazines out and lays them on her lap.

(Good, now she will leave me alone. She is entertained reading.) Wrong! In her broken English – not that mine is better – she carries on.

The lady: “Djou know, it is not good to be single specially when djou do not have a man to help djou with too much stuff, djou know; too many stuff. I bring my car here, its brake down. Simply thing djou know but I have to bring here; I have to sit and wait. Just simply djou know.  Little ting here, little ting there, have to do it; alone. Not good djou know, not good “

Me: “I can image”, I said. I could not disagree with her more but why dispute? She was complaining, dusting the feathers out of her chest; so, why help and add more fuel to the fire?

(HUSH PLEASE!) I wanted her quiet. I wanted to read.

The lady: “I am done djou know; done”, she continued.

(Is this the time on the film when I ask her why? I better keep my mouth shut if I really want her to stop and enjoy my Saturday morning in peace while I wait for my car.)

The treaty was observed for a second. She was briefly “sedated” as she read through her magazine that turned out to be none other than the Star Magazine. As if her intoxicating annoyance was not enough, she dared to interrupt my reading again – not once or twice but too many for me to count for Star Magazine.


I was ready to crack that WIP; I was going nuts – well this is nothing new; this is my typical self.


She browsed the Magazine as if she was swimming through shark-infested waters; just glancing through the pages, not actually reading them. She hurriedly flipped through the pages, side to side; one down, go; one down go, next; and then break.

She paused the Magazines on her lap and turned to me once again.

The lady: “Djou know, look at these dresses –while pointing at the page – the starts are wearing. It look like 1940’s and 50’s again djou know. All come back. I and my family wore them like that, djou know. They were beautiful, big like that.”

(Ok, and?!)

Me: “Yeah! It looks like it, doesn’t it?”, I smiled and agreed. It was clear that I was not born at the era but know enough about fashion to concur.

The lady: “But djou could not know; djou too small to know.”

(Thank you madam, I bowed. Thank you for confirming and approving this message but MADAM, YOU ARE BURKING ON MY STAGE NOW. PLEASE GET OFF OR SHUT UP.)

She did not realize it as she continued to constantly barging in, like hungry hyena.

The lady: “Djou know, money is good but it doesn’t solve a lot. Look at these peoples (she was referring to John Travolta and his family) I mean, they have too many, too much djou know but look, look at them, look at them… hum… now they are… suffering, suffer djou know. His son djou know, too big, very big children and now is dead. Don’t know but… hum!”

(Lady, yeah, he was big and your point?)

She puts down the first magazine and picked up another one. She went through at least four, flipping through each page like an assembly line, stopping only as soon as the mechanic announces that her car was ready. She hurriedly lays all of them on the table, gets up, turns to me and do the unthinkable.

The lady: “Here, these for djou. My car is ready now. Take them with djou (the magazines off course; nice present thank you). Enjoy to read. Good story djou know; good story, nice dresses too.”

She is joking right? Me! Reading Star Magazine! She interrupted my session of “Eat, Pray and Love” for this? For the Star tabloid (Celebrity fashion, news, and gossip exclusives. Users can post rumors about their favorite celebrities on the message boards.) Magazine? All that choreography so, she could show me pictures of some celebrities?!

I must have been hallucinating; running high fever or perhaps, have finally landed on the moon because…. As my late friend and ex-colleague Tracy Smith used to say, “Star Magazine is the true newspaper”.  The bug must have caught up with me because I am finally reading at level 17.


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