Maryna very much wants to give me some of her jewelry.
“You like? Peek. You peek what speak to you.”
I look into Maryna’s jewelry box, a pirate’s treasure of dangling, sparkling earrings and necklaces most accurately referred to as “statement pieces”.
This appeals to me, as I have many statements to make.
“You like?” She holds up a pair of earrings the shape of a psychedelic spider web.
I take them from her. “These are way too heavy for this old broad.”
“No,” she says. “Never say.” Her Ukrainian accent gives every utterance a sorrowful, downward inflection, attaches a weighty solemnity to the most mundane of situations. “You are beautiful woman, not old broad.” She narrows her eyes, almond-shaped and black as midnight. “They are too heavy. You are right.” She takes them back.
“Here, you take.” She passes me a string of chains, a large, blood-red dahlia attached to them. “Poot on. Go to mirror.” She places a helpful hand to the small of my back as I turn to go to the mirror at the other end of the room. I pull the necklace over my head.
“Adjust. Like thees.” I turn to see her pantomime moving the flower to rest on the clavicle, a jaunty burst of color near the jaw.
I adjust the necklace.
Maryna grins. “Eet’s you, baby.”
I grin back. “I always leave here with jewelry,” I say. “Why is that?”