Sometimes when you get older....current experiences help elavate moments that occured earlier in your life.
Yesterday I got out of the gym, and as I was about to cross the parking lot to hop into the bread truck, something almost instinctual pulled me next door to the Cheapo Records store....
It was like this voice was telling me to run in there and go buy PINK FLOYD - THE WALL.
I really don't know why, but I actually had an urge to hear it, It was one of those monetary desires, like when Sue McGleno slams on the brakes to pull into a Dairy Queen.
So now I walk in, and standing there behind the counter was a young woman.
For starters, this was kinda odd, I've been buying discs here for years, and if I stop to think about, it's usually portly dudes with pony tails that ring up my order.
But like I said, today it was a woman, and not just any woman, but a pretty woman. A pretty woman wearing hot pants, and those hot pants were hot pink.
Within moments, Klecko's standing in the classic rock "P" aisle....Tom Petty, the Pogues...ah, here we go....Pink Floyd.
Pink Floyd actually had 2 different little aisles on the table, so I started clack-clack-clacking through the discs right?
Dark Side of the Moon, Welcome to the Machine, Animals, and even a bunch of foreign released Floyd discs were there.
But there was no sign of The Wall.
How could this be?
If I were some people, I might have hung my head, or took it as some kinda sign, but instead I walked up to hot pants and asked.....
"Is is possible that there might be a copy of Pink Floyd's The Wall in any other space other than the Pink Floyd section?
Hot Pant's flashes me the look that your dog does when you fake like you are going to throw a chunk of a hot dog, but secretly palm it instead.
"Where else would we put a Pink Floyd Disc other than in the Pink Floyd section?" She asked in an almost irritated tone.
"Yeah, that's what I'm asking." Klecko replies......
"Well (exhales dramatic sigh), I can have you one here, special ordered,by Tuesday, but it would be new and cost 24 bucks."
"Money's no object" I explained "but it can't be Tuesday. It has to be now, I won't want it by Tuesday."
Now hot pants smirks, she likes my style, but kinda thinks I'm being a dick.
"I can check the computer and see if we have one in our Uptown location." she informs me, but before her thin fingers can even start popping the computers keypad....yep, Klecko interrupts again.
"Don't bother, I don't want to go to Uptown to get it, I'm not trying to be "THAT GUY" but its like this, I need that disc this second or I don't want it. I just figured you guys have stacks of random discs piled up, like those one's behind you, and I just wanted to do what middle aged guys do and exhaust my options. It never hurts to ask right?"
So just as I'm saying this, hot pants spins around, eyes the random piles on a counter behind her and shrieks as if she discovered a dead body.
"Oh My God, I can't believe it...Oh can you, how trick is that? Its right here..HA HA HA HA, and it's only $16"
Klecko slides a 20 across the counter, gets his change, disc and a smile of surprise like I haven't seen in a long time.
So now as I go back to the parking lot, and head back towards the bread truck, a rush of childhood memories gushed through my mind.
When I was 7 or 8 (1970-1971ish)my mother had a hot date set up with some guy. She dated a lot during that era, but even as a kid I remember realizing that she seemed extra stoked about this cat.
You know my mom was stoked because she was going to cook for this guy. My mother is a very sound cook, and its not like she's ever said she hates doing it, but food has never been a big part of her life. She works with it because she has to, but I've never seen her get the same kind of joy from it that you L.A.B. Rats experience.
So now we are in the meat case and my mom looks upset....
"You OK Ma?" the little sensitive Klecko asks....
"Well Danny, I don't know? I am kinda torn at the moment. Do you know what a boycott is?"
I shook my head no.
After explaining the definition, she explained that meat prices had gone so crazy high, that the general public was banding together and boycotting meat.
Then she confessed that even though the boycott was taking place, she wanted to get some pork chops and stuff them on Tuesday night when her date came over.
Then I remember with perfect clarity how she just stared through me, and looked into the distance and laughed while saying....
"God, can you believe that, breaking the boycott is bad, but to do it for a man is practically unforgivable."
Then she kinda laughed and floated back into the present moment.
But for the record, one interesting thing the world should know about my mom is that when my sister and I were kids. My mother never talked down to us, or sugar coated life. She had this knack for speaking to us like we mattered, like were were 34, not 7.
So now my mom is thumbing through meat, she can't find any pork chops. So now she commissions my help, and the 2 of us start scouring every meat aisle in the joint.
No pork chops anywhere.
So my mom throws her hands up to the Polish Christ and mentions that maybe it was a sign.
At the check out line, the cashier was ringing up our order, and my mom ordered a carton of "Merit" cigarettes so one of the managers had to come down and unlock the case that would prevent hoods from stealing them.
While all of this hullabaloo was taking place, little Danny sees a man in a red butchers coat pushing an empty cart down the aisle.
"Sir, my mom wants pork chops, but your store doesn't have any. Why?"
The old butcher chuckled while noticing my Ma had her grocery cart in the aisle, and then he offered me the following advice.
"Kid,we ran out of Pork chops so I've been in back cutting some more. I'll get some for your mom, but in the future, during your life if there's something you need, and you can't find it on your own....NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER GIVE UP. And then just ask somebody for help.
That's 1/2 the battle kid."
My mom took those pork chops, and hopefully her date went well. I'm not sure I ever asked. As a 7 year old boy, I was still intrigued by a butchers wisdom.