Our conversation flowed quickly and easily, in and out of one theory to another as if we could jump from one world to the next with the mere change of topic. Perhaps it was that we recognised something in each other, a knowing. Or maybe it was just me knowing that I had much to learn from this individual.
We had just discussed what it must be like to be a vendor at one of these events and the fact that it was taboo to hit on one of them, when he walked over and started interacting with her smile. When he introduced us, he called himself a broker and questioned my status as one too. I saw her tense up with uncertainty, but smiled as I recognised myself in him.
She was new to town, or so she felt, I laughed at idea. I had been there one night and could see that I had already been more open to what it had to offer than she had been in the month and a half that she had been there. Both gypsies, she was looking for a place to settle, I was looking for a place to park. I don’t know what it was that made her feel safe with me. Though when she heard that I needed somewhere to park, she offered to take me to a new spot she had found but didn’t feel safe parking there alone. I agreed to follow her there, but not before Emmet, the Broker, and I went for a cup of chai.
The place was packed, the cover was $5 but the Broker played his role perfectly, introducing me as the newbie and negotiating a waiver of the fee to let us get the chai to go. Tired from a day of adventuring and a night of dancing I was glad not to get caught up in another whirlwind of music. I used the $5 I’d saved to buy an extra chai for the vendor girl packing her wears.
We returned to find her playing Tetris in the back of her trailer and convinced her to take a few minutes to let the chai do its magic before manhandling a mannequin in next to a straw mat and a bunch of boxes. I found myself head deep in the trailer manipulating the cracks while the Broker threw in jokes about setting me up with someone dismantling bodies.
I could sense her unease, the Broker and I had discussed it when we went to get the chai, and when our attempts to ease it with another were thwarted by the closing of the coffee shop; I agreed to follow her to her spot.
It seemed to me that her chosen spot was some way out of town and had begun wondering when we might get there, when we came across a cop at a four way stop. I let her go ahead and waited my turn as the patrol car glided past me. Moments later my rear view lit up with the ubiquitous flashing of red and blue.
I watched as the lights disappeared over the hill ahead of me and continued in their wake eager to find a spot and get off the road. When I saw them stopped in the distance I didn’t want to take any chances. I found a spot to park and wandered up the road to confirm my hunch that it was the vendor girl with the broken tail light and stolen U-hall who had been pulled over.
Thank you Emmet.