She hides behind her computer. Quick fingers act like thrashing arms and legs trying to keep her from drowning in work. I saw her here yesterday so I am positive she is in need of a break but she pushes through between sips of coffee.
Draped around her neck is a crocheted green scarf. It lies in a perfectly symmetric way despite her movement from typing to searching through her bag on the floor.
A kind and organized woman.
That is how I see her.
I imagine her sister and her crochet together. No doubt they gossiped about family quarrels and Christmas traditions in between each move of their needles. Calmly she brought up their uncle’s divorce from Lynn, whom they have called their favorite since they were young, just to see how she felt about it. This of course basically belted them into the car headed down 58 Memory Lane. Christmas that year was the first time they started making scarves. It was their uncle Thomas’ new wife Lynn who had bought and wrapped crochet needles for them both. Sadly they talked about those “good old days” and both agreed to call Lynn later on to catch up. This woman in the green scarf would later go on to remember to give Lynn a ring but her sister did not. She was never the organized type. She got that from her father and grandfather. Their family always joked that Richard and Richard Sr. would forget to breathe if it was possible.
I made eye contact.
I smile and look back at my screen.
She has no idea that she is the star of this story. She is the tale that is making me tap key after key.
Her fingers stop dancing on her keyboard and she picks at her nails. She doesn’t bite them anymore. She noticed her oldest daughter Mary picked up that habit of hers as a toddler and in order to get Mary to stop chewing at her fingers she had to be an exmaple. Mary later followed suit after a few scoldings. Little does she know, Mary’s youngest daughter has started gnawing at her tiny fingernails as well. Perhaps Mary has started up again. She’ll see at Christmas.
She comes nearer to where I sit and I hold my breath because I am sure she knows what I am hiding. Politely she says a quiet, “Excuse me,” as she unplugs the power chord to her computer from the outlet next to my table. I had forgotten that about twenty minutes prior to now she had done the same thing in reverse order to plug in the chord. I smile and say, “Oh, no problem'”.
Bullet dodged.
She pulls a small grey-green plate closer to her after putting her laptop to the side and begins to tear a small piece from her muffin. By the color I would guess it is cinnamon. I imagine she is trying to savor eat bite because her “Nanna” Jean used to make all kinds of muffins this time of year and the taste always brings her back to those days. I can’t imagine how hard Christmas is without her. Every year is just as hard as the last.
It could be an apple pie muffin I suppose.
She looks like a Barb or perhaps a Tammy. It makes go difference now though, she is packed up and ready to go moments after finishing her pastry.
Let this final line serve as a wave goodbye to the woman wrapped in a green scarf.


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