Wednesday in Wellfleet on Cape Cod; A corner shop of mass carved designs ... however, I'm attracted by 3 chairs out front. They pull at memories of Frank Lloyd Wright and how he might have designed them. A deck chair but without the extended foot rest and with the seat at dining level. They folded flat and I'd be able to get them home in the Z hatch. As I'm loading the three, the clerk -- a blond pretty Cape creature -- remarked that she had found a fourth chair, did I want it. I fretted about space and getting back home and regretfully said "No."
Thursday: I went back to the shop. A different clerk but the same 4th chair. I bought it, remarking that I felt guilty breaking up the family.
Friday: I drove by the shop and the first clerk was in the door. She smiled, dropped her shoulders a fraction while rolling them forward, and waved. Not an over-the-head flag, but a gentle "hello" signaled with left-right-left hand movements across her chest, fingers slightly spread, while keeping her elbow at her waist.
I waved back.
For a few seconds we bridged the 40 years that separated us. We used instinctive mannerisms and systems that I "knew" about but she did not although she executed them perfectly. For a moment the clock did not exist and we touched and inquired but chose to break connection. For a moment we assayed each other as a partner for having children. I had showed parental interest, stability, and resources. She had an abundance of symmetry, smooth skin, and a perfect 0.7 waist:hip ratio. I slowed my car, she dropped her height and signaled a willingness to follow my lead in return for my commitment to nurture her and our offspring. Had we been closer in age, we might well have taken on the 2nd Law together, beating it with our alliance and rearing children despite all the risks, chaos, and confusion of our time.
I enjoy and value my primate adaptations that will let me treasure her for a long time ... my ducks enjoy theirs.