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Lost Calculations
I knew this woman once. She had a mint green jacket, light weight. On her
head was a bright, forest green, well-knitted beret. She wore a sweatshirt,
covering her large breasts. The sweatshirt was white, and printed on it was
a luxurious cross with blooming pink and pastel yellow flowers. Her pants
were of a medium shade of dungaree blue. On her feet were bright blue
leather shoes, with rubber soles and yellow stitches. She would push around
a shopping cart, a small portable one. It was made of metal, painted navy
blue. Inside were white plastic bags and jars of spaghetti sauce; thats

She would carry around a calculator with her, and make all these different
calculations. Many numbers, passing by. She would add and subtract, divide
and multiply, like the families do in today's society. While biting the
pink collar of her jacket, she would stare at me, under the thickley
densed, round-framed eyeglasses. Still, she would make the calculations on
her freshly bought calculator. Occassionly, raising an index finger to her
mouth, to bite her nails.

The woman would move from the back to the front. Skipping all inbetween; on
the line. It doesnt matter to her who waited, what mattered was if
everything added up right. Because if it didn't, she was not clean, and
would have to bathe later on that night. As her tight fitting pink jacket,
contrasted with her green envy, she would limp across the line, while
bracing her portable shopping cart.

And all the time, adding and subtracting. Doing some multiplications and
some divisions. All these calculations on her pocket calculator. Over and
over again. Until she got picked up and she sat down, in those greens,
pinks, and that large breasted cross. She would sit and bite at her index
nails. And the line would move past her. Passing her, as she discontinued
making her calculations.

 1998 David Greg Harth