“I like this idea,” says Rueben, leaning over her shoulder to peer into the laptop screen.
“Can you imagine! I wouldn’t want to police that kind of demand,” she replies. “The things are attached to people’s arms now. They might as well do everything else with one hand.”
It is annoying sometimes. Heaven knows Blondi agrees with the man. People will sit in the café playing noisy games or videos on their phones, while customers around them glare and are ignored. More than once she’s had to request these boors turn down the volume. Isn’t that simply something they should do without being asked? But they seem oblivious to all but their teeny tiny screens.
She glances up at the empty tables. Outside, snow is falling, hitting the big window and turning to droplets of water. It’s been this way most of the afternoon. People are staying home, using their own stoves and ovens, keeping their houses warm. Another 20 minutes she’ll give it, she decides, and then she’ll lock up.
“Go home, Rueben,” she says. “Nothing much left to do.”
Ten minutes later he’s still there, sweeping. In no hurry to leave, apparently. And then she finds out why.
“Could you pull a card for me?”
Of course she can.
“Without me telling you why?”
She shuts the front door, turns the deadbolt, flips the sign.
Rueben follows her into the sitting room and she takes the cards off a shelf, sits down, shuffles, splays the deck out on a table.
“Ask your question, silently, and choose one card.”
He does this carefully, as if giving it much thought, as if it matters, and maybe it does. She doesn’t know. He hands it to her and they both look at it. She knows he understands what its message is, but goes ahead anyway. Her particular way of translating it into words might be exactly what he needs to hear.
“It’s telling you to be patient.”
Yes, but how do I do that? he wants to know.
“Accept the way things are. That requires the most strength of all, but it’s what the card advises. Acceptance is the way to escape frustration right now.”
She wonders what the trouble is, but doesn’t ask. Doesn’t want to know. Doesn’t dare.