Temporary Plates


beginner“Um…no.  I don’t want that.”

He makes a brief, burbling sound singing somewhere between guffaw and gag and rakes a manicured hand through lacquered curls.  She freezes a moment, then turns away, drawing herself up, lengthening her tan neck, cocking her head to encourage a wind blown mass of bleached waves to trickle over her shoulder as she replaces the item.

“Okaaaay.  Well, how about this, then?”

Offering a plastic carton of sushi, she brings her hips close to his khaki’d thigh, her long freshly-painted fingers disappearing behind his back. With quick, slimed motion he whips his matte face away, mustering a vacantly annoyed look toward an un-peopled space at the end of the aisle, the poorly veiled scar from a hair transplant glimmering savagely under the florescent lights.

“Not for me, no,” a flat response directed at no one.

She shifts her weight to one leg, a hip jutting towards the hand-basket he balances on two thick fingers.

“Well, what do you want then?”


One thin hand is on her chiseled flank now, thumb snapping at the waist of her semi-opaque leggings.

“What’s your deal?!”  She’s whisper barking, head inclined to direct unseen vitriol at his rigid, averted face.  “I’m really trying here — where are you?!”

He stands motionless, arms limp, broad shoulders loose under a draped, brand name cardi, staring hard through lowered lids at a case of yoghurt parfaits.  Her heavily diamond-ed hand is gesturing furtively, gravely now, murmured words inaudible.  He twitches his wrist, jiggling his gold watch testily, further setting a chiseled, thickly cologned jaw as his sneers and snarled responses, absorbed by a beautiful pair of thick eyelashes, by the breast implants peeking from her sheer sweater, by the full, expertly treated hair cloaking her perfect body, make them both stiffer, more angular.  Fellow shoppers try awkwardly to feign ignorance, darting in and out of their sphere of virulence to snatch products.  An obese loss prevention officer eyes them, looking sleepy and embarrassed.

“It’s never enough for you!” she finally screams, storming through the suddenly hushed evening grocery rush out of sight.

When we’ve battled the long register line and escaped into the cool, lamp lit night, I catch a glimpse of her, dancing stiffly to bass heavy pop music, shouting at a toddler and her nanny in the back, retouching her makeup in the passenger seat of an shining black Lexus with temporary plates.

About Gold Standard Test

Sometimes I work, and sometimes I play. Sometimes I eat, sometimes I've no time. Sometimes I know, most times I'm learning. Sometimes I laugh, at times it's through tears. Sometimes I love, amidst trying and tolerating. I strive to make a mark, but this worlds substance can be hard. And all the while, I do hope it's normal and extraordinary and, above all, enough.


  1. Sounds like a woman who needs a hug. Or a massage. Or both.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How sad. And more so for the little one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sad but beautifully evocative as always. I love reading your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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