Departments (Part 1 of 2)
You were a total embarrassment in the dentist’s office. Given, the hygienist looked exactly like Heidi, which was unfortunate, but that didn’t really excuse your gawking. You shouldn’t have ever started staring at her, but when she walked into the room, the way her scrubs swayed when she moved and something about the way she held her arms, with her hands bent up at the wrists, maybe – it was too much. You stared.
Even when she was at the computer, pulling up your record, and she glanced at you and then did a double take because you were staring at her, you didn’t stop. You kept staring. You stared when she started her small talk, your mouth agape even though she hadn’t yet requested for you to open up. You stared at the strands of hair that fell into her face as she bent over you. When she positioned her dental light so that it shone into your eyes, you just squinted. You stared at the silhouette of her face.
You stared and noticed her fidget when she met your gaze, but each time, you kept staring, noting how the gradient of her blue eyes was exactly like Heidi’s. And even when she cut the small talk and threw all of the dental jargon she could at you (mesial, composite, onlay), you kept staring.
Poor girl. She told you your gums were too sensitive and that you needed to spend some time stimulating them. You just stared. She recommended an electric toothbrush and a gentle circular motion at the base of your teeth. You just stared at her –despite her flaring her nostrils and clenching her jaw (just like Heidi). And as soon as the real dentist finished his examination of your mouth, double-checking her work, you stared as she fled through the doorway of the office.
You realized, of course, just how creepy you’d been, but the guilt didn’t hit you until you were in your car in the parking lot. You said out loud, “I gotta get ahold of myself.” And then you decided to go buy an electric toothbrush. There was a department store in a strip mall just down the road, so you drove there and began searching.
You walked around for ten minutes before finding them next to the vacuum cleaners. But instead of buying one and walking out of the store, you browsed the vacuums, which looked like colorful jet packs and boasted cyclone technology, mini turbine heads, and motorized brush bars.
An employee asked if you were finding everything all right.
“Yes,” you told her. “Thank you.” But since you were in the home goods section of the store you were a little sentimental, and you actually considered confessing that in the larger scheme of things, no, you weren’t finding everything all right.
“Actually,” you said, “do you have flow blue glasses?”
“Yes.” The woman smiled. “Right this way.”
You followed her to the Kitchen Ware section, and she pointed to the glasses.
“These are nice,” you said.
“Let me guess.” She wagged a finger at you. “Wedding registry?”
You almost dropped the glass. “Yes,” you lied. “How did you know?”
“Well, first of all, not many men shop for flow blue glasses. But mainly, I could just see the look in your eye when you picked up the glass. It was like you were thinking of someone else.”
“That’s impressive,” you conceded. You set the glass back on its shelf and walked away. You couldn’t talk about it anymore.