Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The Twins

This is one of my dad's old work boots. My mother, creative genius that she is, took them and planted flowers in them. Luckily my dad is retired. Talk about having something in your shoe.

At work we have two little old ladies that we’ve dubbed "The Twins." Mainly because they are twins. And a bit terrifying. They are regular customers in our store. They are both tiny and stooped, with straight, short white hair. They always wear the same blue polyester matching skirts and black coats, even on 90 degree days. One is always hugging a brown paper bag to her chest, cradling it like a baby. Instead of standing in line at the front of the store, they always come to my department to be checked out. I’d never be able to tell them apart if it weren’t for their demeanor. And the brown paper bag, which I’m sure is a permanent fixture on the one sister. The one that is in charge makes the purchases. They always buy things like paper cups, and ask me for a small bag. One time I made the mistake of giving her a regular sized bag and she looked at me like I was insane. I’m always very friendly with them, and the one that talks always says ‘thank you’ and ‘have a nice day’.

Now, I could tell they were a little strange and even a little scary. They recently got kicked off the bus for fighting with passengers. See, on top of the fact that they are eccentric, the twins have a bit of obsessive compulsive disorder. They have a certain seat on the bus and they won’t sit anywhere else. The last straw for the bus driver was when they stood and stared at a little girl who was in their seat until she cried and got up to sit with her grandmother. I’d cry too. They’d scare the bejezus out of me if they stood and stared at me. It’s not only the bus, though. They have a seat at an Arby’s too. One day a young couple with small children made the grave mistake of sitting in their seat, so the twins went and asked the cashier to tell them to move. The cashier complied, but the couple, being of sound mind, wouldn’t budge. Their rationale was that they were there first. Makes sense to me. Not to the twins. So they went outside and stood at the window and stared in at them until they left.

Maybe they know they are scary and use it to their advantage. The secretary at work told me occasionally she hears them fighting outside while they are waiting for the bus. Once she looked out the window and as the dominant one was yelling, the paper bag lady started to bite herself in protest. I was outside on my break yesterday and witnessed their bickering firsthand. It was quite a little scene.

I see them almost everyday and now I wonder, without the bus, how they are getting around. I have an image in my mind of that new Tom Cruise movie, Collateral. Maybe they stare menacingly at cab drivers to get them to drive them around.
It makes me wonder about the human mind. In their case, their eccentricities are obviously genetic. And it’s funny that they are twins, because that’s my astrological sign. Maybe that’s why I feel sympathetic. If I were to suddenly morph into two halves of myself I’d probably act the same way.

But probably not.

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