Verve

Nothing Happened

“So that’s it. I’m telling you, that’s it.”

“That’s the reason you’re not speaking to her anymore?”

“I’m talking to her. She’s the one not speaking to me. That’s it. That’s the story. She’ll have to speak first—then I’ll speak to her.”

“I’m missing something. Tell me what happened.”

“I told you. She did the same thing as last time.”

“Humor me. Tell me again.”

“Well, I was in Stop and Shop because I had coupons. Usually I shop Big Y. I picked up a loaf of rye bread when that woman comes up to me and . . .”

“Your sister. That woman is your sister.”

“. . . that woman comes up to me ands says, Seedless. How can you buy seedless? The first time that woman has spoke to me in five years is to tell me that I’m buying the wrong rye bread. Can you believe it?”

“Then what happened?”

“Seedless? I says. Oy! Without my glasses they both look alike. I fumbled around in my purse for my glasses, put them on and switched to the rye bread with seeds.”

“But you don’t like seeds in your rye bread. You say they get under your plate.”

“I know, but I couldn’t let HER know that.”

“Then?”

“Then she says, I thought you shopped that other place. Why are you slumming? The mouth on her. I tell you. If I wasn’t a lady I’d of walked away. So I says Coupons.”

“That’s ALL you said?”

“That’s all I had to say.”

“Then what happened?”

“Then what happened?”

“Nothing happened then?”

“How can nothing happen? You’re not talking again. What happened?”

“Then nothing happened. I shopped and that woman went on her way.”

“Your sister. Well. . .?

“Look. I’m not saying anything bad. She bumped me in mustard.”

“So?”

“So, I was minding my own business looking at a jar of Guldens when a cart bumps my cart and it’s HER.”

“Anything break? Anyone hurt?”

“No.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“What’s the problem, Mister? What’s the problem you ask?”

“I’m not Mister. I’m your nephew. What’s the problem?”

“She says to me, for a few cents more you can get the spicy. It’s worth the money. So I get out my glasses and I switch for the spicy.”

“But the spicy upsets your stomach.”

“You think I’d let HER know that?”

“So, ‘cause she bumped you in mustard you’re not talking.”

“No. We’re not talking ‘cause she bumped me in mustard.”

“Tell me.”

“She says, so long as you’re here you might as well come for coffee. Another time maybe, I says. It’s time for me to go home for lunch and she says so come for coffee and lunch. You’re already here. I’ll get a can tuna, she says."

So I says, don’t get bread. Bread I have right here—a nice rye. So she says, I can’t eat that, the seeds get under my plate.

So can you believe that?”

“So that’s why you’re not talking again?”

“Of course not. So I come up to her house for coffee and maybe a bite and right off she apologizes for the mess and the house is so clean you could eat off the floor which is probably what she’d like me to do.”

“So what happened? Finally after five years you’re at least talking and sitting together. What possibly could have happened?”

“So I come into the kitchen while she starts the tuna and she says to me, Coffee? Sure, I says.

Well the water boils and she puts the instant in the cup and pours the water about two-thirds full. Listen, I make instant for myself, don’t get me wrong. But for company I perk. I know. I know. This is for a sister. Good enough.”

“So?”

“So she gives me the cup of instant and goes back to mixing the tuna and I says, I’d like a full cup of coffee—not a half cup and she says it’s not a half cup—I left room for cream. I tell her that I take mine black so I’d like a full cup, please. So she says so you’ll have another. I tell her it’s not the same.”

“Well, what happened then?”

“Nothing happened then.”

“Then why are you talking again?”

“‘Cause nothing happened.”

“If nothing happened why aren’t you talking? What happened next?”

“Nothing happened. She mixed the tuna without saying another word and I waited for her to fill my cup with more hot water.”

“And . . .?”

“And nothing. She mixed. I waited. Then I got up and left.”

“You just got up and left? Why? After five years—why?”

“She says come up for coffee. I came up for coffee. She didn’t say come up for a half cup of coffee. That I don’t need her for. If she says come up for a cup of coffee she should at least give a cup of coffee if I come up.”

“And that’s why you’re not talking again?”

“Listen, Mister, you know a better reason?”

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