I’m on my way over to Grace and Pearl’s to take care of Pearl the dog. I love that dog. She loves it when I come and take her for walks. Mom says she thinks it’s a good arrangement. I’m always begging for a dog, and Pearl the dog needs someone like me to take her outside and stuff.
When I was younger, I tried all kinds of ways to get a pet. I even ordered one of those teacup monkeys that are on the back of the Archie comic books. It was free. I didn’t get it anyway because the two gold framed pictures I had to buy first weren’t free and I didn’t know that COD meant cash on delivery. I went to the post office with Mom when she said she had a package to pick up. I just knew when she saw that cute little monkey she couldn’t say no, and I would be the only kid in town to have a teacup monkey.
When they brought out the pictures with the gold-plated frames, Mom sent them right, straight back. She told me I didn’t want a monkey anyway because they usually have fleas.
Oh, I had the usual goldfish that die in a week or two, but not a real pet. Even though she’s not mine, Pearl the dog is a good friend.
“I’m here Pearl…are you?”
“Yes, yes…come into the living room, Essie, I’m afraid I’m not my usual perky self today.”
I didn’t think Pearl sounded too good. She was sitting in her favorite chair. Her nose was all red and she was dabbing her eyes with her favorite handkerchief. It’s the only one she irons, so I guessed this must be pretty serious.
“What’s wrong Pearl? You look…different.”
“Do I? I’m not surprised. I’ve been dealt a big blow today, Essie.”
“I think I know what you’re crying about. J.C. Penney’s wouldn’t take back your before, stretching, during, and after exercise outfits did they?”
“Oh, Essie…I forgot to send them back. Maybe you can take them to the Post Office tomorrow, dear. I’m far too devastated and I doubt I’ll be functional for several days.”
“I don’t know what to say, Pearl. Do you want me to go across the hall and get Grace?”
I forgot what I was getting ready for….Circle, Saturday night, or church.
“If you do she will only tell you she isn’t going to speak to me again for all eternity. I don’t know why those old women invited me to join their ‘circle’ anyway. I don’t knit or bake, and I surely don’t sew. We don’t have any shared experiences. I don’t belong in a circle. Ever since I quit doing hair I haven’t found a place to use my many and varied abilities.”
I sure didn’t know either, so I got Pearl the dog and headed out for our walk. We went on a very long one. It was getting dark by the time we made it back to the rooms above the store.
I was sure hoping Pearl had found her life’s purpose while we were gone.
“Essie…is that you?”
“Yes Pearl, we’re back. Do you want me to feed Pearl before I go home and do my mountains and mountains of homework?” (I said that before she said anything, so it would be believable if I needed to get out of there fast.)
Pearl came out to the kitchen and she looked like might have found her purpose.
I’m going to volunteer at the library. Murdo has a library, doesn’t it?