Weekly Writing Challenge: Collecting Detail

view up the boulevard
looking up the boulevard

Collecting detail is something few of us consciously do however, our minds do collect it without us realizing this because after all we also have a subconscious. In this story here I really did try to remember what went on around me that day.

On a beautiful sunny day in minus 32 C with the wind chill, I arrived at my destination,  my bank, and having opened the second door, the inside one,  a young woman sitting behind a desk turned 90 degrees to the front entrance greeted me. As I entered, this young woman noticing my arrival rotated her head  in my direction and with a very nice smile said “Welcome to the TD Bank!”

I immediately responded saying “Thank You” and then attempted a little humor by suggesting that the TD Bank, since it was imitating Walmart, should provide its greeters with an outfit with bold lettering on the front of their T-shirt saying ‘TD Bank Team’. Hearing this she just smiled and continued with watching her computer screen obviously, she didn’t care much about my humour. Almost immediately, I noticed by momentarily glancing to my right, that unarmed, semi-uniformed, security guard eyeing me over to see if I presented some sort of threat to the bank during
this  holiday season.

The young asian woman in front of me, in line, waiting  at the local pharmacy, seemed very nervous, anxious, and appeared distressed, she kept repeatedly turning her head looking over to the side to see if another cash was open meanwhile, her anxiety seemed approaching her limit and
that contagion was starting to affect all those behind her too including myself.  What was holding us all up was that older middle-aged woman asking all sorts of dumb questions of the cashier while trying to pay for her
purchases. The cashier was trying to answer her the best she could explain
about this and that yet the woman continued her questions meanwhile, those of us in line including myself, patiently waited and were progressively getting pissed about it.

Finally, the older middle-aged woman left the scene and quickly the nervous asian woman having gotten her turn, attempted purchasing a box of cosmetics and a couple of ‘gift’ cards using her credit card and was told by the cashier woman  this was not acceptable, the pharmacy only took cash or debit. The asian woman retorted that the same named pharmacy
on nearby St. John’s boulevard accepted credit, again the cashier told her NO, this was not acceptable here because the owner was a different one
to the one on St. John’s. Still the asian woman persisted, saying that in
Toronto, they accept credit cards everywhere, to which our cashier told her this was Montreal, which has a different set of rules to Toronto. The asian woman was now disgusted and left the pharmacy angry and then finally, it was my turn.

Having visited both the bank and the pharmacy, I decided to walk back home enjoying that still beautiful, now cloudy day and after negotiating through some snow drifts after having crossed the bank parking lot, I quickly started to hightail homeward along this main boulevard. After a
short bit, I noticed a young woman, all bundled up from the bitter cold, way up ahead of me moving in a steady yet consistent pace down the sidewalk. I decided that I was going to overtake her and increased my pace
however, despite my quick walking it appeared that I was not gaining much.  After a little while I decided I will shorten the distance between us by really putting things into high gear, the race was on.  Doing several
minutes of this, I noticed that our distance had indeed shortened which made me happy because I was getting just a bit tired pushing things this hard.

Meanwhile, I saw that we were both quickly approaching the traffic lights at the end of this stretch of the boulevard. When I had almost caught up with my competition she unexpectedly quickly veered to the right and into the parking lot of the strip mall at this corner. She was still talking loudly to her friend on her cell phone seemingly oblivious about my
presence or so I assumed.  Suddenly, and without warning, she flicked a quick look in my direction and then for a moment I imagined, that she was that slim asian woman in front of me at the pharmacy, telling her friend that it didn’t work they didn’t accept the credit card, what should she do now?  A sudden gust of cold Winter wind in my face brought me back to reality, I realized I was just daydreaming, this young woman whose face I briefly saw, was white, not brown and asian, and she must have been a bit frightened because I suddenly appeared out of nowhere.