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Walgreen’s and Ana Maria

Walgreen’s and Ana Maria (December, 2002)

On Christmas Eve, I stopped at Walgreen’s for some last-minute shopping.

The cashier, Ana Maria, spoke no English.  She was about 35, with long brown hair, delicate fingers, and brown eyes that twinkled with an inner glow.

As she rang up my purchases, I saw myself in her brown eyes.  She smiled.  I smiled back and almost asked her to quit, come home with me, and have my children.  But at that moment, a woman asked her, in English, why no one was at the cosmetics counter.

Ana Maria lowered her head, walked toward the cosmetics counter, and I skulked away into the South Miami night on Christmas Eve.

In the parking lot, a man in a pickup truck asked me for money.  His windshield was smashed.  I said “Sorry Man” and placed the bag of presents in the car.

I hope he wasn’t looking for a place to stay with his pregnant wife.

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