TWENTY-ONE - French Fries and Lady Chatterly

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Sunday, January 6th, 2019

Ivy texted me first this morning and asked me to meet her in the village. She said we were going thrifting at the Sally Ann. When I told her that my dad couldn't drive me she promptly told me I was a lazy slob and to get on my effing bike and meet her there in half an hour. (And just to be clear, she actually said "effing" instead of the real word, which I thought was refreshing, because the girls back at my old school drop "F" bombs like they're going out of style.) Anyway, after I'd put on a decent shirt and tried to make my hair look good, I dug out my piece of crap bike and rode into the village. (I had to push it up Shipyard Hill, but no one needs to know that.) I really need to get in better shape, or I'm going to end up looking like my dad, who has the muscle tone of a large jellyfish.

When I got to the village, Ivy was waiting by a picnic table outside the drug store. Her bike was red and very shiny, and her tights were about two shades lighter. She had a stylish cycling jacket on, and her helmet was white with retro stickers from the 70s all over it: generic happy faces and peace signs and what not. The whole effect was quite charming.

I told her she looked sporty. She told me I looked red in the face. And I guess I was, because of pushing my bike up the hill, but also because I wasn't sure if Ivy and I were "a thing" or if our New Year's dance was just one of those random things that happened in the heat of the moment and maybe Ivy had forgotten all about it.

The Sally Ann store is an old city works portable building that acts as part recycling facility and part second-hand store. As soon as we parked our bikes outside, I could feel my pulse quicken because, well...I love second hand stores. I am actually a little obsessed with them. Value Village on the mainland was where I used to go when I cut class for a mental health break day, but no one knows this but me.

The place—known to the locals simply as The Sally—is packed floor to ceiling with all kinds of promising-looking stuff, and the first thing my eyes landed on was a tiny leather jacket with "Born to Ride" emblazoned across the back in red and gold embroidery thread. It was obviously made for a toddler, but I bought it for Peterson. I goes with the shades. Also, it was only five bucks.

Ivy thought it was perfect, and if you ask me, any girl who doesn't give a person a hard time for buying clothes for a 40-year-old stuffed raccoon, is pretty great.

We rummaged around for a good half an hour. Ivy scored a terrifying looking doll's head, a book about corsets from the early 1900's and a bouquet of toxic-yellow plastic flowers with lime-green stems.

As for me, well, in addition to the leather jacket, I managed to find a mug with a picture of a cheesy lumberjack with his foot on a big stump and an axe over his shoulder. I figured Dad might like it, seeing as he now believes he is channeling Paul Bunyan or something. I also found a battered hardback copy of DH Lawrence's, Lady Chatterly's Lover. (Ivy was very impressed and is now under the impression that I am a connoisseur of classic literature, but in reality, I just bought it because I've heard there are some pretty good dirty bits in it.)

The woman that works at The Sally is quite old, and barrel-shaped and has a very thick Scottish brogue (I've always wanted to say that: a thick Scottish brogue. It sounds so...Scottish...and brogue-ish.) Ivy told me her name is Edith. I asked Ivy how it was that she has lived on Garcia Island for even less time than me, but seems to know everyone? She told me it is because she is open to new experiences, and that I put up energetic walls around me to keep people out. I never pushed it, but I don't think that's true at all. I think it's just that Ivy just talks a lot, so people have no choice but to listen. I, on the other hand, am more of an observer.

After we got through at The Sally, we rode to the beach and then sat on a log and fed the seagulls some of our French fries we'd picked up on the way. I told Ivy about Jocelyn, and the crystals, the sound frequency music and everything, and that I thought she might be a witch. And Ivy just shrugged and said she thought it was a thing that a lot of women seemed to go through at a certain age. She said they go all woo-woo and start quoting famous dead poets and philosophers and stuff, and the next thing you know there's a purple streak in their hair. The whole conversation started getting complicated, so I changed the subject back to the seagulls and the French Fries, and we spent the next ten minutes wondering if birds have to watch their cholesterol intake just like humans do.

Tomorrow we are back to school. Sigh...

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