May showed up to work the next day hair coiffed perfectly, accented delicately with a small rhinestone barrette. As she approached the automatic doors she envisioned them slamming shut over and over again on Curtis' head. Oh she wanted to blame Twila as well but she knew in her heart of hearts that women will woo and married men should say "I woo not!" That being said, Twila's head was not excused from May's violent visions. So, with brief case in one hand and a purse large enough to carry a country ham in the other, May lifted her tiny chin and proceeded through the sliding doors. She stopped at the gumball machines, popped a quarter into a slot, turned the knob, and scooped up a large bright orange gumball. Orange. Her favorite color. Maybe today wouldn't be so bad after all.
She rounded the wood paneled, glass topped, cubical she called an office and stopped at the small swinging door. Someone had replaced Paper Snowman, gingerly taping the paper frozen vegetables back on to his mittened hand. May stood there for a moment briefly replaying in slow motion the events of last Friday in her head. With all that had happened in that explosive episode, she remembered having at the time the involuntary urge to stop and stick Paper Snowman back onto her swinging door. He was after all an innocent bystander. And now seeing Paper Snowman returned to his proper place, she hoped someone had been as good to Paper Santa as well.
The store was quiet that Monday morning, but Mondays were generally pretty quiet. The Pig's circulars were usually in Thursday's paper, so most people shopped Thursday through Saturday, except of course on Wednesday's when the Senior Citizens would arrive for their discounts. The lack of activity was usually welcomed as it allowed May to concentrate and get down to the numbers she had to crunch, and the forms she had to fill out, and the payroll she would have to finish. But the low buzz of Muzak and the clacking from someone pushing that cart made work very difficult. She grabbed the carafe from her coffee maker to fill it with water when she realized that unless it was decaf, she wasn't having any coffee. Shit! Shit! Shit! Stupid Pregnancy! She thought to herself. She stopped, put the carafe down, and pushed through the swinging door to the floor of the store, precisely where she had hoped not to have to go that day. Let's see, coffee is aisle 8, she remembered. May picked out the best decaf coffee the store sold and went to the check out lane where Dotti was working.
"Hey Dottie. How you doin'?" May managed a smile.
"I'm fine, Sweetie. You okay? You need anything? A margarita? What about a shot gun?" Dottie was one of May's most favorite people in Carrington. Dottie could be the one hanging from the cross, but she'd make sure everyone had a hammer and nails.
"I'm okay. I'm glad you didn't have to see it. You were off, weren't you?" May wrinkled her nose in embarrassment.
"Glad I didn't have to see it? That put me at least 15 minutes behind on the gossip in this store and you know I hate that!" she said with a wink. "Honey! I wish I had been here, if anything to give you some backup. Curtis may be my boss but he's still that little snot that lived across the street from me for 15 years. He ain't gonna fire me for tellin' him to put his peter back in his pants and fly right! I can still call his momma!"
"Oh! Don't do that, Dottie. I knew, sooner or later..." Tears began to glaze May's thick mascara and Dottie quickly grabbed a brown paper towel so that May could avoid both Raccoon eyes and embarrassment.
"You blame yourself and I'll come 'round this counter and snatch you bald headed!" Dottie scorned. "When you go for lunch? Let's go down to the Red Chic and get us some grease!"
"That sounds really great! Let's go about 11:30? Beat the crowds?" May replied, perking up a bit.
"Meet cha' in the parking lot then, Sweetie. And don't let that bastard see you being upset or nothin'. He don't deserve it or you for that matter!" Dottie dropped the coffee into the bag and handed it to May. "You want me to go and get water for the pot so you don't have to go wanderin' 'round this store? I ain't got no one in line right now."
"That would be a huge relief Dot!" May was thankful for good friends.