The poet necklace

I went INTO the bank yesterday. I never go INTO the bank, I usually just use the ATM, but I needed to put rent money in and it seemed ridiculous to put hundreds of dollars in 20s into the ATM and this is the “sketchy” bank, not the nicer bank. But what’s funny (or possibly ironic) is the “nice” bank in the “nicer” neighborhood got robbed last year and this one as far as I know is robber-free.
Anyway, the point or no point, I can all see you looking at me like Pat does when I’m trying to tell a story and I suck at it – which I do:
I was in line, a long line for the time of day or maybe not, the lunch line. The tellers slugged along, a few elderly people stood waiting with their deposit tickets, knowing exactly what to do – it’s pretty straight forward. Paper. Money. Here.
But the bank manager, a short mushroom woman, came exceptionally close to the first person waiting and said right into his nostril “HI. HOW CAN I HELP YOU, WHAT ARE YOU HERE FOR TODAY?”
“To deposit money.” He said.
“I SEE YOU HAVE YOUR SLIP ALL READY. THANK YOU!” and sweetie sweet on to the next lady.
“HI. HOW CAN I HELP YOU, WHAT ARE YOU HERE FOR TODAY?”
Oh Jesus. I waited, the way you see a dog bounding toward you and there’s nothing you can do until impact. I was the firing squad’s last victim.
“HI. HOW CAN I HELP YOU, WHAT ARE YOU HERE FOR TODAY?”
We got it, lady. Stop pretending you care so much. We weren’t there filing taxes or trying on wedding dresses.
But as I waited for the inevitable onslaught, her falsetto voice in my face, the woman in line before me suddenly turned around and said:
“OH I JUST LOVE YOUR NECKLACE! Don’t you just love her necklace?” she said to mushroom head. And now they were both staring at me, and doting on my chain and I could feel the degrees of my chest getting hotter, redder, the chest the woman said she didn’t mean to stare at which made me even more uncomfortable, but she just loved those kinds of necklaces, it looked so old and unique. “DID YOU GET IT HERE? IS IT OLD? IS IT UNIQUE?”
I’m not sure why, but whenever people notice this necklace, I turn a muddy red, a blotchy apple and I sweat. This square locket with a painting of a black bird in a brown tree in a green sky. And on the back is the first stanza of Dickinson’s poem “Hope.” A gift from my mom, it hangs on my breast bone. I usually pair it with another silver necklace, a gift from a friend a small heart in a circle charm, a heart of a heart. If I have a poet boots, this is my poet necklace and I don’t like people staring at it, touching it, making it reveal itself under such circumstances.
The way people talk just to talk just to blah blah blah tlak and I felt myself hiding myself, my chest, turning my body to the window, using my arms to cover the redness. I showed them the poem on the back and I’m not sure why. Maybe to try to make myself more comfortable, but it ended up being a “here look at my ass, too.”
And by the time they had gotten over it, the woman in front of me started talking about high school reunions, she was about 70, and how when she went back she couldn’t recognize anyone anymore and the men kept staring at her breasts. She patted her chest, covered in a dark blue shirt “Yeah, I got it. I still got it,” but her boobs were like mine, like dimes.

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