Juanita and Eddee
Saturday I finish at the museum. Still in 18th century attire and having missed lunch, I stop at the restaurant attached to my hotel. It’s still early for dinner and a major storm is heading our way, so the place is empty. My server, Juanita, introduces herself and offers the menu, but I’m rudely staring at the TV seeing news clips from the Women’s Marches that morning, the first I’ve seen.
Juanita says, “Oon bin worken at musay tday?” “I have,” I answer, still glued to the TV. “Lawsy, I don knows wa dem women thinken bout tday. On Taey dis mo’nen da wo-man say she be speaken for all da womens. She don need be speaken fer mer. My mama raise me up bettern dat. Doins in public, tsk tsk.” She shakes her head.
Eddee comes to my elbow with the water pitcher to fill my glass. “Oon see dat one gots herself up like a giant va-gyny? Goodness Lord Jedus wa she thinken to do wid dat? I tells oon dis. If my mama see dat, she be gitten out her whoopin stick like jus bout right now.”
Juanita bends down and points her finger in my face. “When Eddee mama get out her whoopin stick, Girl, oon bedder be payen TEN shun!” The two women laugh and slap their palms together. Their wide hips sway and the rest of them just rolls like the waves, their laughter like the echo of the ocean. I want to laugh, too, but I can’t stop watching the “Taey” with all the women and their signs.
“What do you think was accomplished by all this today?” I ask them. They look thoughtful, perhaps just to dignify my question. Then Juanita says, “Well… I think it do make da one ting clear.”
"Dat be right,” Eddee says. “It clear womens don need mens to put em down no mo. Dey gots da handle on dat, all by deyselfs!” It takes me a second to process. These two beautiful women are dancing and laughing at themselves.
“Need be trowin down dem debil hats!” Juanita hollers at the TV.
“Now wa I gon bring oon fo supp, Baby?” Juanita says, all business. Eddee says “She wahn sum my swait tay. I be back wif it.” She leaves to fetch up the pitcher of sweet tea and I study the menu. The sky turns black and the storm is upon us. “Ol’ Noah bes be gitten his lazy self movin,” calls Eddee from the kitchen. "We gon need a bote!"
Just another Saturday selling books, laughing with the folks, and learning.