Gift Horses

Street Art, Seriously!-artist unknown-white ink on street skank-image captured on a bad day, looking down. Author highly amused, as always, by life’s sweet and nasty pleasures and treasures.

“That’s a story!”

Folks offer that exclamation up to me pretty regularly once I tell them I’m a writer and after I tell them a story.

The truth is, I don’t know if I’m a writer or a storyteller or just completely self-absorbed. But I do have an Oprah quote on my refrigerator that says “Your Life is a Story You Have Lived to Tell” and I think she meant that for everybody, not just me. And I should make use of this laptop for something other than Netflix, so if you don’t mind, I think I’ll go on for a bit. If you have something better to do, please, go on. I have no idea where this is going.

My most recent story that brings about a “That’s a story you should write!” is one that I honestly wouldn’t have considered writing. I mean, I think it was a fortunate happenstance to retell a few times, but not worthy of this sort of attention. But I’ll go on since three people told me to and I haven’t been writing very much for someone who calls herself a writer. Ya know…Netflix.

A semi-regular customer of the secondhand shop came in early the other morning. He and I go back a year or more now. I would even go as far as to call him Friend (since I can’t recall his name at the moment. That’s not unusual for me and I have started doing exercises, but you can see they haven’t paid off yet.). Anyway, he edged up to the counter with a lean and a crooked smile-grimace.

“Um…I have something weird…”

He trailed off and I gave him the full go-ahead. Anyone that starts out with an opening like that gets my full attention. I think most folks cozy up to me because they know I am. Weird, that is. Unconventional. Colorful. It makes other folk steer clear, I think, but that’s another story.

“Uhhh….I have this…” He trailed off to silence for a moment and cupped his hands in front of me about the size of a softball. “…I have this, umm…bag of weed.”

Now he had my interest even more.

“Yes?…Go on…”

“Well…I don’t partake…we don’t…my wife and I…and well…I was wondering if I could bring it to you.”

“Um. Well…I know marijuana isn’t legal to sell retail yet and I’m pretty sure the owner would not approve of me consigning it for you in her store…but I do like your line of thinking, Friend!”

He laughed and corrected my misunderstanding. He just wanted to gift me a big bag of weed.

“I know you smoke…you mentioned it once and we don’t. You’re always so nice…and well…we just didn’t know what else to do with it.”

“Um. Really? Oh, my gosh! That is so nice of you to think of me! I think! I mean…Why me?…what do you mean? What does that make you think of me, then?! What do you think I am?! Do you think of me as just a big stoner?!…Wait. I’m sorry. Why, of course! Certainly! Yes! I would never look a gift horse in the mouth! Wait…what does that mean, anyway? Is there really such a thing a gift horses and why have I never seen one? Do they dress up like carousel horses or are they wild and dreadlocked like the ones on Assateague Island?!….Are they like Santa?! Do gift horses have reindeer?”


“…Um…I was actually thinking of taking a little sabbatical, buuut if you really don’t know what else to do with it…Sure! I’ll take it off your hands! I just have to ask…How did you find yourself with a spare giant bag of weed? Where did it come from? I mean…if I’m going to be smoking it…it isn’t poisoned, is it? Are you trying to poison me, Friend?! Is it laced with something? It better not be laced with anything! Where did you get this weed and why are you giving it to me?!”

He lowered his head and dramatically forced his eyes to darken,

but let an inkling of a smile escape from his lips.

“It actually belongs to my daughter. We just put her in rehab.”

Between my good-humoured Friend and I…laughter, ensued.

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