Silas is looking at the bank teller. The bank teller is looking at Silas. She’s not paying attention to how much money she’s giving me, and slips me an extra ten. “He’s so cute, like a doll baby! Would you like a lolly, Doll Baby?” Silas grabs the proffered lollipop stick, and grins in reply.
At the gas station, the owner clucks his tongue at Silas, who giggles appropriately. Without looking at me, he hands me a ping pong ball sized peppermint, “for the baby”, and shoos us out the door. I try to tell him I haven’t paid for my gas yet, but he just waves “bye bye”.
The nail salon: He gets Hershey’s kisses, while I get a coupon for a free mani/pedi after the manicurist nearly gouges out my cuticle with her nail file. “So sorry, he’s just too cute, oh look he’s smiling at me!!” she squeals. You would think Silas was Elvis or Sinatra reincarnated.
Dunkin Donuts: My coffee is on the house. So is the donut we didn’t order, Boston Crème, lots of frosting. “For the baby”, the guy behind the counter tells me, “babies gotta eat too.”
Grocery Store: Somehow, on the receipt, the milk is a dollar cheaper. “I wasn’t going to use that coupon anyway” the bagger insists.
At five Silas and I head back home to the Courtview Apartments. I take him out of the car seat and ring the buzzer, looping the grocery bags through my other arm. Kate opens the door to her apartment and opens her arms. Right on queue, Silas falls right into them, asleep.
“Thanks for the day off, I got a lot done.” she tells me. “Any time”, I say, “you were right, a baby does work better than a dog. I don’t know how they expect him to eat this crap, it’s not like he has any teeth.”
BIO: Helen Peterson is the managing editor of Chopper Poetry Journal out of New London, Ct, and has previously published in Fell Swoop, Main Channel Voices, Gloom Cupboard, Tonopah Review, Cartier Street Review, Poor Mojo’s, Wilderness House Review, Battered Suitcase, diddledog, Hiss Quarterly, Right Hand Pointing, Juked, Elimae, Haruah, Zygote in My Coffee, Pedestal Magazine (book review), Literary Fever, Debris Magazine, and The Shine Journal, Poetrybay, among others. Currently she has work in Girls With Insurance, Moronic Ox, and will have work in the upcoming spring issue of poeticdiversity. Her work was also featured in The Work Book, an anthology put out by Poet Plant Press in 2007.