The Tie That Binds

Barbara Daniels Dena

The Tie That Binds

 

I had never been in such a store. I wandered up and down each aisle rather amazed by the sheer amount of merchandise available. There were lawnmowers here right next to the light bulbs. There were washing machines available in the same store? With so many items to choose from, I knew I would find what I needed in these overstuffed, narrow aisles.

 

"I do need a new washer,” I said to myself as I looked at my light-colored blouse dotted with the Rorschach-like dark stains. That would have to wait for a separate shopping trip.

 

From around an end-cap shuffled a bespectacled gnome of a man. "May I help you find something?" he asked.

 

"Yes, I am looking for those plastic things you’d use when you kidnap someone," I said.

 

"What?" he squeaked as if I had spoken in an alien tongue.

 

"You know those white or black strips. The police use them too, when they arrest the bad guys," I replied thinking that would help to give him a clue.

 

"Ma'am, come again?" he asked.

 

"Maybe I am not explaining this very well. The plastic strip wraps around the wrists, you thread it together, and zip it closed. Then, the hands stay tied together," I said and patiently demonstrated the process to him as I held my rough, raw, work hands in that position for him to see.

 

"Um. . . follow me," he instructed. I shuffle stepped in line behind him several aisles over. "I believe these are what you are looking for. They are called electrical ties."

 

I noticed his voice had a slight waver to it and his hands trembled.

 

"Yes, this is it exactly.” I waved them in the air. “Thanks," I said to him and walked away.

 

I checked out and smiled at the clerk. I noticed in my peripheral vision the excited gentleman continued to point at me while trying to demonstrate bound wrists to a confused coworker.

 

As I exited the doorway, I was puzzled by his strange behavior.

 

"You would think the man never tied up overgrown tomato plants,” I murmured to myself as I strolled through the parking lot.