"Emerald green! And - hey, listen - indigo, if you think maybe you'd have it."
The clerk paused in mid stride, either looking for the items in his mental inventory or, in annoyance at having to hold back a wry comment about indigo underwear.
"You okay there?"
"Yeah," replies the clerk, "Just trying to remember if we carry any indigo boxer-briefs." He smiled, "I just don't think so! But I'm going to look!"
The little man scampered off.
Bud got away with murder - Haha! Literally and figuratively. He was tall and wide and good looking with hair that did tricks; Hawaiian waves, mud-slides, Fast Eddies, you name it. A little grey looked like marble on a slick black night on the Seine. His shoulders were friendly huge, his large hands almost always working a welcoming gesture. Bud got dirty but never dusty. He sparkled clean.
"I got ocean green and lime, I got something they call True-blue, but it's closer to cobalt than indigo - and there's a very cute pink - I know, you didn't ask for it, but I just thought - Wow! What a man for pink!"
Wanda later noted, "We get love for the wrong reasons and left for the wrong reasons. A child still has the purity of spirit to see that - it hurts, it's lonely, it's frustrating, and, as adults, we can't see clear through the mess of our own tangled confusion to remember what a straight line to love or loss looks like anymore."
"Life is rough, Wanda. You catch a smack because you catch one. You get a kiss because you get one, if you're lucky. You walk away when the time is right.
"Or stay when the time is right?"
Bud stares at the little man for a moment, and then another. The pink underwear dangled from the Clerk's index finger. He gestured weakly to Bud, but the large man didn't move a muscle.
"I know," Bud said through the pink underwear, "I should buy my socks to match my underwear, not the other way around - but," he swallowed embarrassment and rage alternately between words, "I got the socks as a gift..."
"Wow!" Said the clerk with growing excitement. "You match all your socks and underwear?!"
Bud went red in the face.
"I was ready to squash him! Some nerve, licking his chops, like I was some kind of winged side of beef!"
"But you didn't squash him?"
"I'm working on my stuff. His words made me angry, I didn't want to take on that anger. Kind to myself..."
"So how that work out for you?"
"For me, not bad. For him, well ask him yourself."
"He's in the trunk of my car. I'll go get him."
End of part 4