"I beg your pardon?" I stammered out.
"I said you budda." she said a bit louder with drawn out vowels. As if the elevation of sound would trigger the knowing.
I stared at her blankly, searchingly.
She then cranked out a larger than life laugh and said, "I like what you wearin'. Budda. You budda." She shrugged.
Conversation sprung forth cus of "budda". Right there. In a Harlem grocery store.
She seemed a bit young to be out in the middle of the day. So, my mouth said what my mind thought.
"Why aren't you in school? Don't you go to school? Its 1 o'clock."
"Did I just say that?" my brain mused.
Well, it was too late to back it right up. I stood my ground. I stared intently. Right into the swimming pools of living waters that she knew only as her eyes.
In query's moment I was sure that I heard a crack.
"Was that her heart?" I wondered.
I paused a moment. Wondering "Truth. What was it to me?"
"I care because I care about young beautiful girls who should be taking advantage of ALL their opportunities in life. How else do you plan to rule the world? You can't do it on fumes! You need to go to school!"
More softness of face.
Side stepped. She imagined.
"You live around here?" Her.
"Yes, when I am in the country." Me.
"Yes, when I'm in the country. I spend most of the year in Australia. Ever been there?" Me, last shot.