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Stamps and (implied) Bathrooms

Prompt: the four types of dialogue.






“How can I help you?”


“Hey there! I’d love to send these, and get a couple sheets of stamps.”


“No problem. This the correct address?”


She nodded, smiling.


“Ok.” He started typing.


“Are you Tim?” 


“Yep.”


“Tim, it’s so nice to meet you! I’m Ellie, David’s wife. He absolutely loves cycling with you. Makes his day. I’m so happy to finally get to put a face to a name.” She said, reaching out to shake his hand. “Forgive the mask, I’ve a newborn at home and want to be extra cautious,” she added, squeezing hand sanitizer into her palm.


“Ah Dave! Yeah, he’s great. Got a good bike there. Figure I won’t be seeing him for a little while with the newborn around?” 


She laughed, “I guess so, but trust me, he misses it.”


He smiled back at her. “Ok, what stamps can I get you?”


“Ooo, how about RBG? That’d be great since I just had a girl!”


He paused, blankly.


“Oh, sorry, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”


“Ah. Ok.” He went to the back room and came back with a sheet. “Successful lady, but can’t say I agree with her politics.”


“Oh sure,” she quickly said, “but she’s a good role model for young girls.” Ellie was reminded she was living in the South now, and in the country to boot. No metropolitan politics for her anymore.


“So where ya from? I know Dave is a Buffalo guy, how about you?”


“California!”


“I’m sorry.” And he burst out laughing. “I’ve always wanted to say that.”


First time she’d heard that as well. She normally didn’t share certain facts about herself, only to close friends or google sleuths, but she almost shared that she was indeed Miss California for a time. 


Instead she quietly chuckled. If you can’t laugh at yourself, why bother.


“You know, despite the earthquakes, constant threat of fires, and awful droughts, it really is beautiful.”


“Ehh, it’s alright. I’m not a politics person but man they are off the wall,” Tim said.


“Oh.”


“I mean, if you’re a dude, you’re a dude. You aren’t going to get my money to pay for that crazy.  What is wrong with these people? I mean, I don’t like politics, but don’t tell me you’re something when you’re not!” He continued on for a spell. He took Ellie’s silence for agreement and decided to lay into some more personal opinions. 


When he finally slowed, Ellie took a breath. 


“Well, I figure. If it doesn’t hurt me, or hurt anyone else, what business is it of mine?” 


Tim paused.


“I do agree, though, that the wealthy are trying to get us to focus on the wrong topics, fight the wrong people, the wrong fight. All while they slowly get richer and more powerful.” Ellie said as she handed over her card to pay.


“Well that’s the truth!” Tim agreed. 

Ellie politely smiled and they wished each other a lovely day. As she drove home, she debated with herself whether she would tell Dave of his companion’s diatribe. Dave always had such a fun dialogue with him about bicycles, she didn’t want to dissuade him from that.

“Welcome to the country,” she said as she turned onto her street. A gorgeous, idyllic setting. Golden wheat swaying in the lazy afternoon sun, the creek gently receding for the day. I’ll tell him another day, she thought, and pulled into their driveway.


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