“She was working at the makeup counter in the drugstore. Every time I walked in, she was talking to another lady, or doing her face. This girl, she could sell you anything. She could sell you last year’s snow. You’d be listening to her and wondering how you could have ever lived without last year’s snow. But I can tell you, she was not one who ate her own bullshit,” Meho says. “She just liked selling, that’s all. I asked her, how much are they paying you here?”
“It was eight dollars an hour,” Sonya cuts in.
“I took her out one night. I said, let’s go get Chinese food in Sharpsburg—this town that was two hours away. She says, ‘Okay!’ Imagine, you give a woman a proposition like that, let’s drive two hours for Chinese food. And she says yes! You know she’s not the kind of woman you’re going to need to read poetry to all night.”
Dina glances at Lev uncomfortably.
“We were driving back from Sharpsburg, and I said, ‘Come and work for me for ten dollars an hour.’”
“But the joke’s on him,” Sonya finishes. “Because now I take half!”
So this is their love story, Lev thinks. A sad one, the story of people who’ve fallen into each other’s arms out of some shared knowledge that nobody else gave a damn about them.
A Public Space