Linda Treiber

Linda Treiber
Birthday
April 04
Title
a.k.a. Linnnn
Bio
You are cordially invited to close your eyes and throw a dart at any one of the titles listed in "My Links" below. Those stories are all bits and pieces of me. Let me know what you think...

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1 Act Play - 4 Generations of Women
The Beach Divas
Random, Because I Can
I Fought the Law and...
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Editor’s Pick
APRIL 19, 2012 10:38AM

Winn-Dixie Bodhi

Rate: 63 Flag

         

         They studied me as I flipped a family-sized jug of ketchup and a jar of pickled banana peppers into my buggy. Usually at the market, I am immersed in my grocery list, coupons and my mission to make every penny count, but something made me look. Caught in the act of staring at me, they twitched a little, furtively averted their eyes and began an animated conversation about salad dressing. My one fast glance their way yielded detail.

         
          The tall one had long brown hair and wore a tight fitting floral blouse with acid washed jeans and flip-flops. Her face was shiny, not made up, and her eyes, sparkly and dark, were recessed under a set of savagely plucked eyebrows.  The short one had short bleached permed hair that stuck out at right angles from her head and wore what once were probably beige shorts and a faded t-shirt, barefoot. Her face was shiny too and mottled with scabs.  She held her head cocked back so that she stared out of lidded inflamed half-closed eyes. I got the “what are you looking at?”glare from that one so I quickly kept my look-see to myself. These ladies were not Thelma and Louise. They were more like Squeaky and Aileen
          Grocery shopping is not my favorite activity.  I literally bribe myself out the door, clutching my enviro-friendly grocery bags and my club discount card, making promises to reward myself with ice cream or wine (or both) if I complete this onerous task.  I opt to shop at odd hours of the day or night. That way, not only do I avoid the rush hour crowds, as a person with Parkinson’s, I can also take my time. No one is running up on me in the produce department impatiently clipping my Achilles tendon ram speed with their cart. I don’t have to navigate around huge expanded families including day-old screeching infants and audibly flatulent grandpas wielding mean walkers arguing about whether Cap’n Crunch is better with crunch berries. Or not.
          And, even better, I reduce the incidence of having to explain to little Johnny or Janie why I shake while their helicopter parent unabashedly stares at my active limbs and walks away murmuring “There but for the grace…”.
        Off hours make shopping do-able for me especially when you can fire a cannon down any aisle and hit no one. But that day, it was different.  I shared the store with two women who, and this is without being intentionally mean or judgmental, creeped me out. It was a vibe I couldn’t shake. And as a woman who thinks I can do anything if I just devise a work around, I try to deny any reminders of my inconvenient vulnerability.
         They seemed to materialize down every aisle I chose.  I was forced to squeeze by them a couple of times as they held their positions not moving or yielding me the right of way. Eventually I just didn’t go down an aisle where they were.  Their cart was filled to overflowing with food.  So was mine.
         It was a relief to roll my buggy into the cashier chute which was one of three chutes completely available. The lights were on. I was halfway through unloading my order to be checked out when they rolled in behind me. My cashier paused briefly to let them know there were other cashiers open, but they ignored her and moved further in behind me.  Ever feel someone enter your personal space with purpose? 
         I had a huge cartful and the only bagger in sight, a vapid aimless Tweedle-Dee, was walking away tenaciously avoiding eye contact with either me or the now panicked cashier. I hoped those women would focus on the magazines on the racks right there because this was going to take time.
         Then, the short one, waving her tatted sleeve arms brandishing an unlit cigarette, called out a long indecipherable sentence ending with “…too fuckin’ slow.”  
         And she shoved her cart into mine with a loud clang.  “Someone’s in a little hurry” said the pale cashier.
         I am a babbler. And a flapper. When this kind of stress rears up, I go kinetic and flood the immediate area with jabbering and flapping and this was no different. “Sometimes it’s hard to be patient. Patience is difficult when you can see something is going too slow. I just try to take deep breaths and stay calm…I like to listen to what the Dalai Lama says on these things…” and on and on as I worked as fast as I could to get this task done and me out of there.
        “Young lady, may I have the distinct pleasure of escorting you and your groceries to your car on this lovely day?”
         I hadn’t seen him coming. A tall elderly Morgan Freeman of a man in a white apron and a black Winn Dixie cap materialized, bagged my stuff with flare and speed picking up where I left off talking soothingly of patience and calm and service to others.
        Clapping his hands together and laughing, he allowed that he is a fan of the Dalai Lama too. And a Baptist. And couldn’t see a conflict between the two.  I looked back at the two women, who could plainly hear the entire conversation, and they had turned their backs on us conferring with each other in whispers. A manager dropped by and sent my poor frightened cashier to her break taking on the next check out himself.
        And Lucius and I strolled out into the beautiful day.

        He says that even at his age, he is considering a tattoo on his chest. Peace on one side and Amazing Grace on the other.

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I love every word of this story. And I agree with Lucius: No conflict at all... :) ~r
There are angels among us - love this post
You put it into words so well. I hear you on the vibe, doesn't matter what garb the person is wearing, there's just that look in their eyes and that darkness oozes out of them.

So glad someone with light came along.
Wonderful post... yin and yang, good and evil, all in balance may all the deities bless Lucius, you and all of us with such relief in one another.
Ooof! That was creeping me out, too! I wonder what in the world they hoped to gain from acting like that. I am glad you remembered to breathe, to call the teachings of the Dalai Lama to mind, and accept with grace your savior, Lucius. Well written, Linnnn.
At the very least, I think it was a form of recreational bullying a weaker person by some bored addicted gals. At most they may have sensed vulnerability and planned to get my purse - which I wasn't carrying. I had my cards in a small wallet attached to my belt so it wouldn't have been an easy grab. Especially since Lucius dropped in, smiling.
I love this ending, of course, but I kinda hoped you might would accidentally drop a can of pork and beans on one of those too-close feet. Accidentally, of course.
I loved the feeling of this story-the creepy characters lurking down each aisle, following you into the checkout lane and the nervousness of the cashier.
Mostly I loved Lucius and how he came at the right moment with the right words.
Also I have a soft spot for Winn Dixie's!
i was liking what you said and did even before lucius showed up, and of course i love the story. i love all your stories. what i might have said to those women, especially the one that rammed your cart, will remain unsaid. but if i got an amazing grace tattoo, it would probably be of ms. slick. xo
Wow, I'm glad Lucius was there for you! What strange women..I truly wonder what their deal was....
I only wish you had had my favorite supermarket cashier working, the flashy, no BS, Hispanic, transgender Lola who would have MADE them go somewhere else and leave you alone. In no uncertain terms. She'd probably even have helped you bag your stuff.

Good story.
Terrific post, Linnn! I try to shop on off hours at ShopRite too--I feel your pain. But meeting Lucius eased the pain a bit.
You write so beautifully, Linnn. I hope whenever you're in a tight spot, Peace appears on one side of you and Amazing Grace on the other.

Thanks so much for sharing this!
"savagely plucked eyebrows," I loved that one. And that is one competent manager; he saw it and sent help. I admire your "Zen," And I wish you uneventful grocery shopping in the future. A beautiful piece, L; I enjoyed it much. R
Was savagely plucked eyebrows Squeaky or Aileen? I'm thinking Aileen.
Laughing imagining you as a babbler. And a flapper
The bagger, vapid aimless Tweedle-Dee that he was!
And Lucius-- fan of the Dalai Lama too. And a Baptist. And couldn’t see a conflict between the two.
Ooh I can't imagine someone who was already creepy lurching up when other lines are open!
Danget this is good Linnnnnnn.. . and I shop Winn Dixie too. Ok, used to. In fact being flooded with memories of grocery 'experiences' in Nawlins!!
Sharon Saltzman, another Bodhisattva, tells of getting into a bicycle cab in India, when a man jumped in to demand her money. She says that with great compassion, she hit him with her umbrella. The Dalai Lama might concur. The women you describe had the signs of meth addiction. Meth renders a person a demon you don't want to deal with, not even compassionately, with an umbrella. I'm glad you had a car escort.
Great story! I am an admirer of the Dali Lama, myself. Just think, if it had not been for the nasty behavior of the savagely plucked and her short friend, you would not have met Lucius!
r./
when you do post here, it's magical so very rated!
An intriguing tale from creepy start to pleasant finish. Thank heaven for people who pay attention and step in.
I felt like I was there with you. Thank God for Lucius, I was holding my breath for a moment!

A couple of very creepy characters, a manager should have called security.
No bare feet allowed in Publix.

(is it a buggy or a cart?)
Lucius, the bringer of light & illumination... what a lovely man. Sometimes such random acts of small kindness allow us to walk proudly in the light of the beautiful day. Sometimes like Blanche DuBois, you can depend on the kindness of strangers. A lovely piece, Linda. Thank you!
Always can count on your for a great read. Loved this a lot . Want to read it again. Rated for the squeaky fromm reference alone.
I'm so happy I happened upon your Winn-Dixie Bodhi tale. How quickly we forget some encounters, seemingly meaningless, with the angels who appear in our lives. Your Lucius reminds me of someone I had long since forgotten; we met on a bus over a year ago at the Denver airport. Our meeting was no accident. Today I remind myself not to dismiss the next one as quickly as I did the last.
I'd be thrilled to bag and carry your groceries anytime! I'm with you - grocery shopping isn't my favorite thing either. Great post.
I just love your narrative voice. And I'm saving a little love for Lucius. I'd pay for his tattoo.
Wow. I would've been completely creeped out. I'm glad an angel appeared in the form of Lucius. You are one cool chick!
Drema
Such a wonderful story. Well deserving of an EP. A little bit of angel goes a long way.
rated with love
Well lived and well told, Linn. I concure with what Candace says ... she left the best comment. I wish you would post more. Your writing is a treat here.
Jackpot, Linnn,
I agree : 'savagely plucked eyebrows' sets the dial to menacing ...
Smoothly beautiful denoue ...
@ Larry ~ 'trolley' is the word you're after, I think.
thank goodness for kind people
[r] always such compelling and entertaining writing. loved the not thelma and louise but squeaky and aileen ... did she really mean them I asked myself but seeing them highlighted, yes, indeedy! well done. best, libby
I know this wasn't supposed to make me cry, but everything makes me cry right now, and it was so beautiful, and I KNOW Squeaky and Aileen, and i wish I knew Lucius...{goes away, flapping and babbling}.
This is brilliant. Squeaky, Eileen, and oh especially Lucius. That we are all blessed with a Lucius when we need one. Excellent writing.
Rated!

I hate grocery shopping too!

Actually, I just hate people. Shopping is awesome without people crashing into me with their carts, or standing in the middle of the aisle blocking it and...uh...sorry....

~wanders off into the thorn bushes~
I have missed your wonderful writing, linnnn. I was a little shocked to learn of your Parkinson's, but this post wasn't really about that, was it? Lucius has clones in my grocery store, where people have to overcome all kinds of challenges; one of our checkers is blind. People like Squeaky and Aileen would be unceremoniously escorted to the customer service counter and out of your way. Thank God for the Luciuses of the world and for the talent you have been given.

Lezlie
Lezlie, and every one of my dear friends who have back channelled your thoughts to me regarding the P-son's, you didn't "miss the memo." I just never mentioned it not wanting to be defined by it. Since it is now Parkinson's Awareness Month and I am comfortable finally that the body of my writing does not suffer from the association, I snuck it in there. It's been 11 years since first symptoms and 8 since diagnosis and I am doing fine. The gentleman in this short video, Andrew MacDonald, kind of sums it up for me. And thank you all for letting me kick it into the game through the backdoor.

http://www.cureparkinsons.org.uk/files/assets/154.mov
You slipped it right past me the first two times I read it - even after noticing the reference in your tags. I knew you were subtle, but I thought I had a pretty good eye. You win.
I loved your decriptions here.r
Chicken Maaan,
you catch me laughing again!!!
Mischivious little rooster that you are!!!

Linn,did I get it right?You have Parkinson?
God bless you and give you enough strength for each day's struggle.
Your story is great,and of course,very delightful at the end.
That lovely Lucius deserves a medal.
~Rated~
Angels can be found anywhere. Even a Winn-Dixie.

This was lovely and precisely done.
This is a beautiful post. Sad to think they are already targeting the weak for treachery at so young an age. A bully is a bully is a bully. And Lucius IS an angel!
Very enjoyable read, as LC said angels among us... congrats on EP and cover LInnnnn...
Thank God for your angel escort!
Here in Top Ten still and four days gone! It deserves to be!
Quite nice. Really. I know you are tired of hearing this, but write more and publish more here. Please.

As for the content Dalai Lama or no Dalai Lama, you should start carrying a knife.
I really have no time this morning but stopped to read one post, yours, and I am so very glad I did. You tell this so that I am standing beside you and can picture it all in my mind especially Lucius who seems to have almost visable wings behind him....
I am so glad you are here and shared this wonderful story, you have made my day. AND I am so happy you were safe!
The Luciuses of the world truly make the place worth living in, don't they? Sorry that you are ill and had to endure the added menace of those two slatterns. I also hate grocery shopping because there are too many creeps there.
Word up to the old Morgan Freeman dude :) I watched a documentary with Morgan Freeman about penguins. Then I got a penguin tattoo. Oh, The SYG law doesn't seem to apply to any of the MUDs !
Love this for lots of reasons. Your vivid writing is one of them.
Wow.
So glad Lucius came along, at the same time I am wondering, "WTF is up with people these days???"
You tell this story so well, Linnnn.....I didn't know that you have Parkinson's either, so sorry to read this here.
My best to you and yours.
Wonderful post, Linnnn. Thank God for people like Lucius./r
I want that tattoo. And I have been nicked in the Achilles Heel with a grocery cart. It really hurts. Wonderful writing.
While reading this I was standing there, right beside you, ready to treat someone to a beatdown of epic proportions in front of God and everyone in the store. You're much kinder than I could have been :) And our angels come in many shapes and colors.
Well-told tale, Linnn. You never know when creeps will play the fool and do their creepy thing; on the 0ther hand, you also never know when someone like Lucius will turn up. Balance, it's all about a balance...
BEAUTIFUL!!!! Congrats on a wonderful piece of writing!