there was a saying once, but for the life of me i cannot remember what that saying is. i was trying to remember it in an ascension. i stopped by the mall, i needed to buy a gift. i remembered the donna karan store. i used to buy all my clothes there. i bought my last big shoes at a shoe store near the escalators. i used to work in the mall. i used to work at lenscrafters. i used to work with terry & betty.

betty was a lab technician. she was older. how much older, i don't know. the same goes for terry, except he was an optician. i used to know their last names. i cannot remember them now and i can't remember the saying either. i don't remember liking them very much, terry & betty, but i did like them in a way. i got along with them fine. i think that's the way everyone felt about them.

terry was a peculiar man. he was an adamant smoker with wire-like
once-blond hair. he was a tiny man. he wore the same clothes everyday. his diet was horrible. he ate chick fil-a sandwiches religiously. maybe a corn-dog for variation.

terry was sort of scaly. he drank pepsi after pepsi, yet i remember him being extremely laid back. non confrontational, easy going. he was not a particularly happy man, nothing about him hopped up and down like the caffeine and nicotine would like you to think. he was a contradiction.

he had a bizarre sort of existence. a presence, you might say. sort of like a burp or a cloud of smoke. at the same time, terry was also a nice enough sort of fellow.

he gave me an accordion once. i'm not even sure how the subject came up. he used to play the accordion and he still had one. confused and moved, i took it. i may have even needed one, i can't remember.
that was really nice of the guy. he just gave it to me.

betty was cut from a similar cloth. she was not in the best shape. she was divorced i think, but i can't be sure. a mother of a boy, maybe he was grown. she was a smoker and her caffeine of choice was coffee.

betty was a little rough shod. she wore her years of service on her skin and hair, in her clothes and in her speaking voice. she was not well off. she was past her good point. something had past anyway. and of course, you could also tell she had a past.

something about her in retrospect gave me the impression that a man had not been so good for her. she wasn't looking anymore. she was who she was. it was a fact. i don't get the feeling that betty had lonely nights. maybe she did, i don't know.

in the lab, betty was a confident enough lab tech. she was not particularly brilliant but smart enough to know when she could not handle something. she would not try to hide it. she would gladly step out of the way if she thought that you could do it better. the concept of her knowledge was understood and that lent an air of confidence for me.

i remember once showing betty how to mix the plastic polish. i sort of comically exaggerated the instructions for the process.

you see, you have to put your hand in the jug of white polish powder while filling the jug with cold water. mixing with your hand, smoothing and swirling until the powder was gone and the polish liquid became a milk-like consistency....well you get the idea.

anyway, betty thought my demonstration was very funny and said that i made this work so much more fun.

betty like terry and i got along just fine. other folks that i worked with at the time drove me nuts in aggravations and confrontations. not terry & betty. i don't remember liking them very much, yet in retrospect i think they were alright.

when i think back on it, they were very good friends. good friends for each other. they often ate their food together and smoked cigarettes together. they laughed and were generally empathetic towards one another. and i think that they generally liked everyone else as well.

terry & betty. terry & betty.

terry & betty make me think of lorraine, the white witch and pathological liar, but that is an escalator ride for another time.

image: x-ray/optical composite of abell 2029
(credit: optical: noao/kitt peak/j.uson, d.dale; x-ray: nasa/cxc/ioa/s.allen et al.)