The encounters abroad, translated…
I’d slowly, extended my hands, placed them onto the dent, but, the shop owner still held that expressionless face, like every word out of his lips was made of gold…………
Finding a Pair of Gloves that’s More Adult
As a child, my hands froze easily, and so, gloves became, a necessity for the winters. Before the elementary years, I’d always worn the gloves my mother knitted. On the back, with the blue-colored snowflakes, and, the left and right hands were, connected by a thread. But, as I got older, I’d felt, that the mitten-style, with the safety pin, to prevent one glove from getting lost was just, too childish.
And so, the very first time, I had put on a five-fingered pair of gloves, without the string connecting, I was, very happy. This, is a real pair of gloves! Then, just as suspected, as scatterbrained as I, I’d lost, several pairs of five-fingered gloves.
a pair that looks kinda like this, perhaps???
As I got older, I no longer received frostbites that easily anymore, and, severed off my affinity with the gloves. But, as I’d wanted to find a pair of elegant, beautiful in color, leather gloves, I’d gone shopping at the malls, but, as I’d looked around, there wasn’t, a single pair that I liked, in the end, I could only, put my hands, inside of my coat pocket, to replace the uses of the gloves.
Awhile ago, I’d traveled to Florence, found a glove shop. Although, the shop was really very, small, but, the three walls, with a rack, filled with nothing but gloves, with a straight-faced female shop owner behind the counters who’s on the heavier side. Compared to the busy tourist attraction streets, the shop was, very dark, and quiet too.
I’d thought about, how I’d been on the hunt, for a pair of adult-looking gloves, and so, I’d, worked up the courage, marched into the small shop. There was no “welcome” from the shop owner that greeted me, the shop owner just looked at me, with her slanted gaze. There was, a soft round matt in the middle of the counters, and I instinctively thought, this must be the place where people placed their hands.
The softened and fluffy exterior of the small pillow, with the vintage floral prints, it’d drawn the shoppers, to place their hands onto it. And yet, how many people had, actually, placed their hands on it to date? There’s no traces of the lines from the connecting seams in the middle.
The Pair of Hands that Fitted, Just Right, into This Pair of Gloves
I’d slowly, shown my hands out, placed them onto the dented place on the pillow. The owner still didn’t say a single thing, and carried that expressionless face.
“Is the young fox in the new fable “Let’s Go Shop for Gloves” feeling like I am?”, I’d thought, suddenly. Finally, the hands, turned into people, make sure you don’t show the wrong hands, the mother fox warned her child, but, the lights from the shops, made the young fox disillusioned, and, it’d, extended, its, fox’s hands.
from the display windows…
“Please find me a pair of fitting gloves”. The young fox who’d made the fatal errors wasn’t at all, panicky, and had courteously, said to the humans.
I’d wanted to say what the young fox said to the shop owner too.
“Please, help me find a fitting pair of gloves.”
And because I couldn’t speak Italian, I can only, stand there, quietly.
“Eight.” At which time, the shop owner who was watching my hands on the mat said, with this tone of force, and authority to me. Then, he’d, taken out over twenty varieties of gloves from the cabinets, placed them all, onto the counters.
It seems, that my hands were, size eight. There were, an assortment of gloves, made from cowhides, sheep wools, or synthetic leather too, hand-sewn, machine-made, black, green, mustard, orange………I’d, pointed to the pair I’d wanted to try on, the owner used the tools, like he was the one making the gloves, quickly, extended the five fingers on the gloves, for me to try them on.
Trying this and that, would the shop owner get angry, if I’d, tried so many of them, I’d thought at first, feeling, kinda scared, but, looking at that careless look on her face, just continued, loosening the fingers on the gloves.
As I was trying out the gloves, they seemed, a bit large, so I’d pointed toward the size 7.5, the owner shook her head, and just, repeated, “Eight” to me. She must’ve seen more than her share of hands, she can’t possibly get my size wrong, so, I’d returned, to the eight’s racks, to find the pair that I would want.
After the young fox got his gloves successfully, he’d told his mom, “Humans are not at all scary one bit.” He’d, put on the newly bought pair, and clapped his hands, with pride.
In the end, I bought a red pair of gloves. I’d never worn anything red ever, and I really don’t know why I’d, picked this color. Perhaps, it’s because of how the shop owner had, commented on how good it’d looked on my hands as I was trying them on.
“Red suits you well”, she’d told me, with the unhesistating tone like she’d told me what my size was.
“The Italian shop owners are, not scary at all.”, I’d carried that small bag with my newly bought gloves, walked across the Ponte Veccio, emulating the tone of the young fox to myself.
So, this, is this woman’s journey, venturing, into a foreign city, like that young fox in the fables, and, she’d held the fears, as that young fox had, and, it wasn’t until she’d experienced shopping in the Italian shop, did she realize, that everything she’d heard about the Italian shop owners were untrue, and this showed her, how you can’t base your presumptions on how someone should be on what you heard, you must, have the experiences yourselves, to make the judgment calls.