Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Shop Girl

  1. #1
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    San Diego Calif.
    Posts
    1,700
    Blog Entries
    15

    Shop Girl

    Shop Girl

    Hildy was a shop girl like all the rest. If you’re not familiar with the term let me help you out. A shop girl is a girl who, because she has no skills, works in a shop. Not because she’s isn’t pretty, not because she isn’t bright. Only because she’s got no skills. That was the case with Hildy. So she worked in a shop, a most common shop. She worked in the 99.

    You probably thought she worked in a huge department store in New York selling gloves or something. Something like a shop girl in one of O. Henry’s stories. But she doesn’t. Things have gotten tough since then. Things have gotten real 21st Century. She lives in L.A. (Paramount to be specific) and works in the 99 instead. She does however live with her aged mother and a cat, and supports them both, straight out of O. Henry. If he had known her she’d be the kind of girl he’d write about. She’d make him proud.

    She lived in Paramount with her Mom named Celia and her cat named Willy. It was right on the railroad tracks near Rosecrans and Paramount Blvd. not far from the store. When the train came by it would shake the house, just like in I Love Lucy. It was that close. Fortunately for Celia, Hildy, and Willy, trains didn’t come by too often. She went to Compton College some nights when she didn’t work late. But, unlike the train, it wasn’t often enough.

    Like many shop girls she hoped to meet a man. A knight in shining armor who’d sweep her off her feet as far away from the 99 as possible would do. That’s what she hoped. Sometimes though it seemed it would never happen. Such men rarely made appearances or shopped at the 99. Paramount is nice of course, just not the kind of ‘hood a knight shops in, in his shining armor or otherwise. About this very fact she was complaining to her equally shop-girl friend and fellow worker Sam. Her real name was Samantha.

    “Sam,” she said after their lines of customers had evaporated, “it just isn’t fair.” She examined herself in a mirror a customer had returned and left on the counter. It was one of those Parakeet mirrors, quite small, with tiny beads on wires on the sides that birds can push about.

    “All this,” she said to Sam looking at her reflection, “and no one taking advantage.”

    In it she was seeing only a bit of herself at a time, (after all it was a itsy-bitsy’ bird-mirror) but these are the bits she saw. A bit of eyebrow and all of a lovely blue-green eye. She turned it a taste, and a curl of red hair was revealed. Then down, a bit of freckled nose, which she checked for shine. There wasn’t any. Totally then there wasn’t much of her to see, just a slip of a girl, but to men it was more than enough. They liked the bits they saw.

    “All this,” she said to Sam, making a sweeping motion from head to toe, “and no man taking advantage. And I do want to be taken advantage of Sam, I do. ”

    “I know what you mean, Mija.” Sam replied. Sam did know what she meant too, as she was in the same boat, being a dark-haired-dark-eyed Hispanic from Culiacan, and pretty cute herself.
    “There’s only gangsters and school kids shopping here,” she said looking around the place.

    “No bueno aqui,” she continued, “no bueno buscando para hombres,” and shook her head.

    Sam looked at her watch. It was her 10 minute break she was looking for and she found it.

    “Well Chica, I’m off.” She walked to the back. That left Hildy to work by herself. She’d never meet the right guy in here, she just knew it. That’s how it was going to be. Sometimes life was just a life sentence.

    That’s why she didn’t see him at first. In her state of mind she didn’t expect to. Maybe it was because he was so neutral. He didn’t wear a baseball cap on sideways or his pants sagging so far down that he was wearing scrungies around his ankles to keep the cuffs up. The pants didn’t have names across the crotch or butt in bold silver letters. Not at all. He was dressed quite differently. That’s probably why she didn’t notice him. He was dressed so non-bling .

    He was in fact wearing a suit. A three-piece suit. He had on a tie. An actual tie. A three-piece suit and a tie. His shoes were brown. Now here was somebody that was different. He was poking about in the school supplies, gathering up stuff. When he was ready to check out he happened to pick her line. She saw as he got closer that he was tall, and as he paid her, that his nails were cut close and clean. She liked his smell too, kind of fresh and spicy. He was her dream. When Sam got back from her break she said,

    “I just saw him, the most gorgeous guy, you shoulda seen him, he was just…” her voice trailed off, “just gorgeous.”

    “Was he married?” Sam always came straight to the point.

    “How would I know?” Hildy answered, “All I said was thank you for shopping at the 99. All he said was thank you. I couldn’t just ask him, you know.”

    “The ring?” she held up her left hand extending her fingers. “His finger? Duh! Did he have a ring?” She pointed to the ring finger. Hildy understood and felt foolish.

    “I didn’t notice,'.

    “Chica,” Sam replied, “I know you went to school, girl, but you still didn’t learn.”

    Hildy looked crushed, as if she’d failed a test, which she had.

    “Don’t worry Mija, Samantha is going to take you under her wing.” And that’s precisely what she did.

    to be continued?.....


    ©StevenHunley2010

  2. #2
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    San Diego Calif.
    Posts
    1,700
    Blog Entries
    15
    The next day there was a full crew so they got to take their lunch together. They put their lunches on a box on the loading dock where they wouldn’t be disturbed. They faced each other.

    “The number one thing is the ring,” Sam counseled, “Of course, you can’t rely on it completely; some married men take them off. But there are other clues. Lots of other ways to tell if they’re married and who they are.”

    The boss came by and announced lunch was over. That was the end of lesson one.

    When Hildy went to school that night she had her English class. They read a story called The Red-Headed League about some detective named Sherlock Holmes whose powers of observation were, as they put it, “acute.”

    “There’s nothing that guy can’t figure out,” she concluded. Then she went home.

    Later, after watching a movie called Magnum Force, she went to bed. When she was snug, her blanket and the white sheet folded over it tucked neatly under her chin, all the thoughts of her day came rushing back to her with a purpose. They didn’t do it logically, they did it chronologically, which, though it sounds it, isn’t logical at all.
    First she remembered work. She remembered talking to Sam on the loading dock and spreading her paper towel on the box and placing her sandwich on it. It was a tuna sandwich. She remembered the handsome well dressed man. Then, for some reason, she remembered the song Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top. That was odd. Then she remembered going to school and reading about that detective, what was his name? Sherlock Holmes.

    “I’ve heard of him before,” she thought, “and that funny Doctor Watson.”

    Then her thoughts flew back to the well-dressed man, and to a knight in shining armor. He would ride up to her, right into the check-out line, and scoop her up.
    “Funny,” she thought,” he isn’t wearing shiny armor this time; he’s wearing a three-piece suit and glasses.” They rode off together. Where? Into the sunset of course, that’s always how it went. And somewhere between the check-out line and sunset she fell fast asleep.

    When she woke the next morning she knew what she had to do.

    “I’m gonna Sherlock-Holmes him,” she said, sitting straight up in bed. And that’s exactly what she proceeded to do.

    She was lucky, because fate, who is a heavy-hitter in stories of this sort, was on her side. The well-dressed man had just moved into the neighborhood. Between what he had lost in the move or left behind and what he needed to fill up his new empty place he needed a lot. He would have to make many trips to the 99. That was real good, real good for Hildy. She had learned a lot from school. Like all good students she had learned to extend her lessons to real life. Because hadn’t she remembered that a few years ago that the F.B.I or some police had got in trouble for picking through someone’s trash? She had. They picked through someone’s trash and found out all about him. Each discarded wrapper, each empty carton or box, each cigarette butt, told something about the owner, about what he liked, about who he was. Didn’t someone once say “Tell me what you like and I’ll tell you who you are.”? And didn’t she have all that there? I mean, they carried almost everything at the 99. Food, books, all sorts of stuff. Discarded wrappers before they were unwrapped! Before they were discarded. Unlike the police she wouldn’t need a search warrant.

    You see, just like Dirty Harry Callahan she knew, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” She knew hers. It was the check-out line. A customer and checker can never talk. Their conversations could never go beyond a “Thank You.” Sometimes not even that. So she’d work around it, work around the limitation. If Sherlock Holmes could learn all about somebody by observation, so could Hildy. She’d observe him and everything he bought. She’d Sherlock Holmes him. She’d Sherlock Holmes him to death.

    Her first opportunity came sooner than expected, for he was in that very afternoon, slightly after three o’clock. He looked different.

    “My God,” she thought, “he’s wearing glasses! I don’t much go for glasses!”

    But then she did. She decided this when he got up close to check out. It was when she saw through the lenses that his eyes were blue-green just like hers. It was also when she saw that the frames, which were tortoise-shell, got lost in his wavy brown hair somewhere there just before his ears. “Glasses are not so bad after all,” she thought. He was gone with a “Thank you,” and out the door. But she had a list of what he bought on the register tape and here’s is what it was:

    1. Tortellini top 3:15
    2. Shoe laces
    3. Sheets of notebook paper (4 packs)
    4. Tetramin tropical fish food
    5. DVD High Command staring James Mason
    She compared it with the tape from when he first came in which was:

    1. Tangerines top 3:25
    2. Inkpens (two dozen)
    3. Spagetti sauce
    4. deodorant

    You have to admit it wasn’t much to go on. The most she could figure from this was that he might like Italian food; he tied his shoes, watched old movies, wrote something, and didn’t stink. But then, like all good detectives she had a flash of insight. What if she didn’t have all the clues? What if he’d been there when she wasn’t? She ran to the computer, hit a few keys, and like a French magician, Viola! There they were. Three more lists.

    to be continued....

    ©StevenHunley2010

    https://youtu.be/spJ-nQ1iiH0 Sharp Dressed Man Billy F Gibbons ZZ Ward Orianthi - Feb 2017





    https://youtu.be/lyIPvm4JukQ Sharp Dressed Man ZZ TOP

  3. #3
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    San Diego Calif.
    Posts
    1,700
    Blog Entries
    15
    The next day there was a full crew so they got to take their lunch together. They put their lunches on a box on the loading dock where they wouldn’t be disturbed. They faced each other.

    “The number one thing is the ring,” Sam counseled, “Of course, you can’t rely on it completely; some married men take them off. But there are other clues. Lots of other ways to tell if they’re married and who they are.”

    The boss came by and announced lunch was over. That was the end of lesson one.

    When Hildy went to school that night she had her English class. They read a story called The Red-Headed League about some detective named Sherlock Holmes whose powers of observation were, as they put it, “acute.”

    “There’s nothing that guy can’t figure out,” she concluded. Then she went home.

    Later, after watching a movie called Magnum Force, she went to bed. When she was snug, her blanket and the white sheet folded over it tucked neatly under her chin, all the thoughts of her day came rushing back to her with a purpose. They didn’t do it logically, they did it chronologically, which, though it sounds it, isn’t logical at all.
    First she remembered work. She remembered talking to Sam on the loading dock and spreading her paper towel on the box and placing her sandwich on it. It was a tuna sandwich. She remembered the handsome well dressed man. Then, for some reason, she remembered the song Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top. That was odd. Then she remembered going to school and reading about that detective, what was his name? Sherlock Holmes.

    “I’ve heard of him before,” she thought, “and that funny Doctor Watson.”

    Then her thoughts flew back to the well-dressed man, and to a knight in shining armor. He would ride up to her, right into the check-out line, and scoop her up.
    “Funny,” she thought,” he isn’t wearing shiny armor this time; he’s wearing a three-piece suit and glasses.” They rode off together. Where? Into the sunset of course, that’s always how it went. And somewhere between the check-out line and sunset she fell fast asleep.

    When she woke the next morning she knew what she had to do.

    “I’m gonna Sherlock-Holmes him,” she said, sitting straight up in bed. And that’s exactly what she proceeded to do.

    She was lucky, because fate, who is a heavy-hitter in stories of this sort, was on her side. The well-dressed man had just moved into the neighborhood. Between what he had lost in the move or left behind and what he needed to fill up his new empty place he needed a lot. He would have to make many trips to the 99. That was real good, real good for Hildy. She had learned a lot from school. Like all good students she had learned to extend her lessons to real life. Because hadn’t she remembered that a few years ago that the F.B.I or some police had got in trouble for picking through someone’s trash? She had. They picked through someone’s trash and found out all about him. Each discarded wrapper, each empty carton or box, each cigarette butt, told something about the owner, about what he liked, about who he was. Didn’t someone once say “Tell me what you like and I’ll tell you who you are.”? And didn’t she have all that there? I mean, they carried almost everything at the 99. Food, books, all sorts of stuff. Discarded wrappers before they were unwrapped! Before they were discarded. Unlike the police she wouldn’t need a search warrant.

    You see, just like Dirty Harry Callahan she knew, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” She knew hers. It was the check-out line. A customer and checker can never talk. Their conversations could never go beyond a “Thank You.” Sometimes not even that. So she’d work around it, work around the limitation. If Sherlock Holmes could learn all about somebody by observation, so could Hildy. She’d observe him and everything he bought. She’d Sherlock Holmes him. She’d Sherlock Holmes him to death.

    Her first opportunity came sooner than expected, for he was in that very afternoon, slightly after three o’clock. He looked different.

    “My God,” she thought, “he’s wearing glasses! I don’t much go for glasses!”

    But then she did. She decided this when he got up close to check out. It was when she saw through the lenses that his eyes were blue-green just like hers. It was also when she saw that the frames, which were tortoise-shell, got lost in his wavy brown hair somewhere just before his ears. “Glasses are not so bad after all,” she thought. He was gone with a “Thank you,” and out the door. But she had a list of what he bought on the register tape, and here’s is what it was:

    1. Tortellini top 3:15
    2. Shoe laces
    3. Sheets of notebook paper (4 packs)
    4. Tetramin tropical fish food
    5. DVD High Command staring James Mason
    She compared it with the tape from when he first came in which was:

    1. Tangerines top 3:25
    2. Inkpens (two dozen)
    3. Spagetti sauce
    4. deodorant

    You have to admit it wasn’t much to go on. The most she could figure from this was that he might like Italian food; he tied his shoes, watched old movies, wrote something, and didn’t stink. But then, like all good detectives she had a flash of insight. What if she didn’t have all the clues? What if he’d been there when she wasn’t? She ran to the computer, hit a few keys, and like a French magician, Viola! There they were. Three more lists.

    to be continued....

    ©StevenHunley2010

    https://youtu.be/spJ-nQ1iiH0 Sharp Dressed Man Billy F Gibbons ZZ Ward Orianthi - Feb 2017

  4. #4
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    San Diego Calif.
    Posts
    1,700
    Blog Entries
    15
    Delete post
    Last edited by Steven Hunley; 06-21-2018 at 04:20 PM. Reason: delete post

Similar Threads

  1. The Imprisoned Girl - The Girl's Song
    By Amylian in forum Personal Poetry
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-08-2010, 03:37 PM
  2. Shop Girl Indicators
    By Steven Hunley in forum Short Story Sharing
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-27-2010, 03:51 AM
  3. Shop Girl
    By Steven Hunley in forum Short Story Sharing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-14-2010, 02:39 PM
  4. Shop Girl
    By Steven Hunley in forum Short Story Sharing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-09-2009, 04:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •