A Stick Up

Remember this.
It will be important later.
Look in a mirror, and do not
forget what you know about mirrors.
Now, look at the wrinkles
around your eyes
and notice how one eye
has slightly more wrinkles than the other.
When he stepped up beside her
she was walking down the aisle
at the What Women Want Expo.
Self-assured and with a sense of entitlement,
he took her by the arm.
“I’m going to do something really nice for you,” he said
dipping his finger
into a jar of white lotion
and spreading it around her left eye
while guiding her into his booth.
When he was finished
he said, “Only $499.”
“Excuse me?”
He looked at her
bemused.
“Sorry,” she said.
“I’m on a fixed income.”
“Do it for yourself though.”
Grabbing
a mirror, he said, “Look!
Amazing, right? Compare
your left and right
eyes.
What do you see?”
It did seem there were fewer wrinkles
where he’d stuck
the lotion
and then he said
“I haven’t had any sales yet
so let me tell you what.
I’ll give you both the hand lotion
and wrinkle cream for only $350
plus the hydration cream free.”
She started to think
she’d look ten years younger.
She started to think
of ways to get by
until her next social security check came.
No. This is crazy, she thought.
It’s too much.
“Did I tell you
it contains secret Dead Sea
minerals?”
He leaned in close
then looked over his shoulder
making sure they were alone.
“If you don’t tell anyone
I’ll give it to you
for a hundred.”
“But, but I can’t,” she said.
“A hundred,” he whispered.
She’d had enough.
“Do you want me to starve?
I’m an old lady?”
He stayed right
in front of her
blocking her
path.
“Let me tell you what,”
he began again.
“No,” she said firmly.
Then, she poked him
in the chest and gave him a little
shove. He looked
aghast
and backed
away reluctantly.
She left
with her wrinkles
and her money.

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2 Responses to A Stick Up

  1. bettyjochang says:

    No one ever warned me that I would hop out of bed one morning feeling all chipper and strong as ever I did, only to look in the mirror and see a wrinkled white haired crone, a perfect stranger, staring back at me. At first, I clutched my robe closed and peered behind me in alarm at this stealthy intruder. I don’t do that any more. I get it. I am an old woman – too decrepit to plow, too curious to die. Sigh.

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