|i am a closet consumer. i love shopping.
what better to do when you are lonely
and it is muggy in a foreign city where
you are uncomfortably competent in the
language--speak it almost well enough
to pass but make mistakes that cause
people to raise their eyebrows at you.
shopping takes care of all that. money
talks, and it's satisfying to close the trans-
action. i bought an old typewriter and
used bicycle. pedaling home in the hazy
humid heat, i stopped at a sidewalk
table to cool off with a juice, started
typing some postcards when a man sat
down and asked what i was doing.
he'd never seen a typewriter before, or
maybe he was a little simple, because he
started banging away, random letters
without any spaces. his friends or family
(i think they were gypsies) came around
and he warned me (after they'd left) that
they wanted to steal my camera. my
timing was good. just as i got home and
began typing some more, it really
started to rain. just like that, the
changed, leaves fell, summer ended.