some Tuvaluans I've noticed

As my routine has changed slightly I've come into contact with a different cast of characters on day to day basis - and I thought you might like to hear about some of them.

Snaggle tooth deli guy - sometimes, after I drop the kids at school, I head off to the giant supermarket to pick up the crap we sometimes eat. I mean that sincerely. The things I purchase at this particular market are junk: cereal, bottled ice tea, candy - that kind of stuff. Working at the counter is this guy. He's missing most of his teeth although he can't be much over 35 and he's always smiling. One of his front teeth is gold. He has the best attitude of anyone working in that store and I always feel a little sad for him, what with the tooth situation, but he's always happy as a clam.

At the same market, challenged workers bag the groceries. It's a nice arrangement for the store and the workers and I know that there is a group home nearby. This does, of course, add another dimension to shopping there - and if you want your groceries bagged quickly and silently you have to shop elsewhere. I don't usually mind one way or the other, but there is ONE particular bagger who vexes me slightly. She likes to read my groceries. All of my groceries. I can't remember her name and I can't always see her name tag. She's really nice and friendly - and very intent. And her glasses are a little askew. And if I spend $150, we can be there for quite some time...

The Porn Star - there's this guy in town, who I sometimes see at the bagel store or post office , and, I swear, I have not seen all that much porn in my life - in fact, I don't know if I've seen any that I've really watched, BUT this guy looks just like a porn star. He's got hair that's too dark and a Village People mustache, and his polyester pants are just a little too short and tight - and not in a Thom Browne kind of way. And I see him ALL THE TIME. And when I do I can hear cheesy porn music in my head.

Old Incan Lady - I see this old lady within the same two block radius. Laundromat, Beech Street, in front of the body shop, back at the laundromat. Teeny tiny, with white hair in a short pony tail, always wearing a skirt - she seems to pace the two blocks daily, for hours on end.
Sometimes she folds laundry at the laundromat. But the most striking thing about her is her face - she looks like the Incas from my fourth grade social studies book. Oh, and, she wears sneakers and socks.

Latin Pony Tail Guy - for a long time I couldn't figure out where Latin Pony Tail Guy was going every day. He walks away from the direction of the train station in the morning (which, duh, means he comes in on a train) and carries a soft briefcase. He's small but has a very regal bearing, and a long pony tail. Finally I found him - he works in the bread aisle of the supermarket, where he carefully and gently shelves loaves of plastic wrapped bread. He never smiles.

My Mail Man - I can't remember if I've written about him, but, I'm totally NOT KIDDING when I tell you that he scares the CRAPPE out of me when he arrives every day. I'll be alone in my own little world when he arrives (at 1:20) and will jump in fright when I hear the mail hit the box (just outside the kitchen door)...every day I will pant...oh, it's just M....whew...He's over six feet tall, has gold teeth, wears his boots unlaced and shorts until January at which time he switches to pants and a government issue ear flap and fake fur hat. He has never worn a coat and he starts shouting my name: MRS. B! from the house across the street if he sees me outside. I like to hand him a bottle of water on the hot days and as huge a tip as I can muster for the holidays. He has three little girls and his eyes twinkle. He has gigantic rough hands (a handshake at Christmas) and is always a little undone looking.

Tiny Mechanic Guy - There is this street, just before the cemetery, where there are about half a dozen mechanic shops. There is a welder there and a radiator shop and a window treatment workshop and a water district building and then this huge automotive garage.
And, at this garage, they store and work on portable generators for 'the motion picture industry.' So there's always a bunch of guys around the place looking greasy and mechanic-like.
And the road is a cut through to avoid several lights on the big road. (There's a terrific sculpture of a man built of car radiators on this road too - and we have a radiator man song we sing when we drive past it.) One of these mechanics is a tiny white-haired guy with a bull dog face. There is something about him that strikes me - his square small shoulders, his perfectly fitted uniform, his small grease covered hands...I've been in the deli with him when he buys his lunch. His hair is very white and his face is kind of scowly, but I like him.

Comments

Imperatrix said…
What a cast of characters! At least they keep things interesting...
BabelBabe said…
you make an excellent and fascinating anthropologist. The Margaret Meade of Tuvalu.
Paola said…
What's wiht gold teeth in Tuvalu???
I loved this!
Badger said…
Are these the people that you meet? While you're walking down the street? The people that you meet each daaaaaayyyyyy?
Keetha said…
Oh I love this entry! So entertaining. You live a very vivid life.
Suse said…
In your neighbourhood, in your neighbour hood, the people that you meet each daaayyy.

Just singing along with Badger. Don't we make a pleasant duet?

It seems lots of people in Tuvalu have white hair. Or pony tails. Hmm.
Velma said…
I love that you "found" the bread guy. I often wonder what some of the regulars in my life do when they are out of our shared sphere.
Jennifer said…
I think I need to get out more. Or at least pay a little more attention to my surroundings. I enjoyed this
Julie said…
Brilliant post! I could see them all in my head.
elena jane said…
this is awesome! we have visually impaired bagger at our local supermarket. he's a hoot. but beware his walking stick if ever you see him out and about!