Recently, a friend and I wandered into an art fair, ogling the shinies, caressing hand-knit beauties, and generally having a great time. The crowd was lively, and the air was nearly tactile with the aroma of freshly baked bread. I had done my due diligence, positively perky with the fuel of copious produce in my tank.
Some time later, as I meandered down the aisle, munching dates, a frazzled looking woman approached, grabbing my sleeve and asking if I hadn’t tucked something of hers into my pocket. Unfazed, I swallowed, turned out my pockets, and smiled. She mumbled something and scooted off. I shrugged, popped another date in my mouth, and continued said meander.
As the fair would down, I searched vaguely for my friend, as we had separated. Her distinct voice and attire left me no worries about finding her eventually. I spotted her, talking with a security guard. Without missing a beat, I ambled up, raised my hands, quirked an eyebrow and said in a laughing voice;
“Am I in trouble again?”
Neither she nor the cop laughed. The young guard was cordial but serious, asking me to turn out my pockets and bag. Shrugging again, I did so. The missing ring was nowhere on my person. Clumsy as I am, I couldn’t hijack dirt from a mud pie, let alone the jewelry that this vendor was convinced I had taken.
There was a pregnant pause after my effects had been handed back to me, the young man asking us to wait until his superior returned. My stomach began to growl as we three stood, staring at nothing in particular. Well, I figured, if I’m gonna go to jail, I’d rather go on a full belly. With that, I folded my legs beneath me, plopped bonelessly to the floor, pulled an apple from my sweater pocket and munched contentedly, the absurdity of the situation creating a smile that made it difficult to chew. I and my companion were proven innocent, yet I, at least, was some sort of veggie-chomping, implacable, hippie-delinquent-mastermind, and so we waited.
Eventually, a grey haired guard led us to a couple of chairs in the back before disappearing again, leaving the younger man nothing to do but listen to me chew, now in between small chuckles.
Shortly after our relocation, they released us. Disposing of the apple core, I bit my lip, holding back the laughter just long enough to get out of earshot, at which point small chuckles became full-blown guffaws. I cackled, I snorted, snickered and giggled. My companion was furious. I was naught but amused. And pleasantly full.
Two months prior, I’d have been in accord with my friend, but I felt so upbeat, it just didn’t bother me. I have no idea whether we were dealing with county troopers or general security, visual assessment not being my strong suit. I still get a smirk, thinking about what that guard might have told his buddies after hours….something like, “She had produce in EVERY pocket, shifty eyes and she never stopped smiling.”
Food affects mood, that’s for sure. Think I’ll pack a bag full of cherries and carrots and maybe a book, I hear there’s another fair on this weekend.