Mary arrived with a paper bag full of pants.
She drops the bag of pants – of used pants, to be precise – on the ground at my feet.
“Ann Taylor,” she says. “LL Bean, Levi.”
Jon walks by, shakes his head in a resigned fashion, a movement usually reserved for those watching dogs attack mirrors or, say, children pushing pudding into their ears.
“This is awesome,” I say.
“I also brought these,” she says, pulling a last pair of pants out of the bag.
“Are these them?” I say.
Flashback: December, 2013, basement at Nye’s. Mary and Pearl are black-pantsed and white-shirted, starched to a crackly crunch.
“I think I got something in my shoe,” Mary says.
Nye’s, a building that was once three buildings, is a funny place. Stairs that lead to no where, the remnants of the brick foundations of the original buildings form interesting speed bumps/opportunities to test one’s balance.
The basement’s backrooms are fascinating.
Mary takes a seat to pull off her shoe – and her eyes go wide.
“Holy Hannah,” she murmurs.
“What?” I say.
“I just sat on a nail.”
She stands up, turns around; and sure enough, there’s a hole, right there on the very bottom of the ol’ bumper.
Our eyes meet. We burst into laughter.
“Oh for cryin’ out loud, Mary. Are you wearing just enormously white drawers? Or is that really the color of your butt?”
She feels around. “Those aren’t undies,” she laughs. “That’s the smooth, unblemished plane of my alabaster ass.”
It’s true. Mary, she of the red hair and blue eyes, has the coloring of a porcelain imp.
She borrows a black marker from the bartender, and in mere moments, voila. The hole in her pants is invisible.
Mary hands me the pants. I’ve borrowed them before; and frankly, they fit like a dream.
“Can you fix them?” she says.
“No problem,” I say.
“You fix ‘em,” she says, “and you can have ‘em.”
“Mmm,” I say. “Free pants.”
Jon walks through the room again, shaking his head wearily.
“You guys are weird.”