Meet 'Patti'... (Corner Confessions)
A VIGNETTE FROM 'PATTI' IN CORNER CONFESSIONS
Steph was busy watching people pull into the parking lot, get out of their cars, and go on about their lives through the plate glass window next to her confessional table in the back corner. Sitting in the magnified warmth of window-tinted light, she was making bets with herself on who would be her next appointment, and what secret they might share, when she caught movement out of the corner of her left eye.
“I bet you didn’t know the mayor is having an affair, did you?”
“What?” Steph asked as she turned and faced the woman walking toward her with a cane, and a purse in her other hand.
“The mayor… I bet you didn’t know he was having an affair, did you?” she repeated herself, pulling out the chair across from Steph and sitting down.
“Truth be told, I don’t even think I know who the mayor of this town is,” Steph revealed with a shrug of her shoulders.
The woman sitting across from Steph furled her brow and slapped her left hand down on the table, “How can you not know who the mayor is? She’s an absolute bitch!”
“Wait. I thought you just said the mayor was a ‘he’,” Steph said skeptically, wondering if she simply misheard.
“You’re right, I did,” the woman said smiling while she placed her handbag on top of the table.
Perplexed, Steph asked this strange stranger across from her, “So, is the mayor a he or a she?”
Stretching her left arm across the table for a handshake with her palm down, this woman introduced herself with a smile, “Hi, my name is Patti and I’m the town liar.”
With a confused look and fumbling with her arms to figure out which one to use for the return handshake - unusual as it was, Steph asked, “Don’t you mean crier? And I don’t want to seem rude, here, but are you my four o’clock appointment today?”
“It depends on who you are and if you’d like me to be,” quipped Patti.
“My name is Steph and…”
“Nice to meet you Steph,” Patti said, pulling her arm back to her side of the table, then picking up the coffee pot and shaking it to gauge how much coffee was left.
Steph motioned toward the coffee pot and said, “There’s still quite a bit left in there,” and then continued with the pleasantries of, “Nice to meet you, too… I’m sorry, I just forgot your name.”
“My name is Penny.”
Steph sat there for a moment, quickly replaying the last two minutes of conversation in her head while looking at this person sitting in front of her and then slowly asked, “Was it Patti? Or, was it Penny?”
“Either one works for me,” as she smiled and poured coffee into the clean mug sitting next to the pot.