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An Unexpected Gift



An Unexpected Gift at Astoria Sunday Market

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They had sparkle dust around their shiny eyes and dangly earrings hanging from their lobes that swayed like little fairy swings. They had on a bright colored shirt tucked into their tight belted jeans.


The best part of their stand-out style was their hat, a faux leopard trim round hat with a black and red button pin.


They wandered into my booth and just stood there surveying the scene of my art. It was quite a picture for they themselves were so colorful like my artworks. I said not a word until they turned toward me. "Are you the artist?" they asked with a bit of a Jeffrey Marsh lilt to their voice if you know who that is.


I had a brief yet lovely conversation with this man who had such strong feminine presence that I do not know which pronouns to refer to them as so I am choosing the all-inclusive They.


I gushed over their style while they gushed over my art. Together we reveled in the liberty to Dress Up everyday. Why wait for a special occasion? (Life IS the special occasion!)


They wandered back into the crowd as I became occupied with customers. When my booth was quite busy I saw them wander back in and out so quick before I had a chance to greet them again. Later, when my surge of customers faded I saw it : the hat. They had left the hat on my table.


I panicked thinking they must of forgotten it. I looked for them but to no avail. So I put on the hat, I HAD TO , how could I not put on such a lush and glamourous hat? The moment I put it on a woman stopped into my booth and immediately said, "That hat is so perfect for you!"


I wore it waiting for the sparkly fairyman to come back to claim it. Surely he would come looking for his hat. I was so busy that I did not have a chance to leave my booth to scan the market for him.


And then, later in the day, they showed back up.


"Here's your hat!" I said as soon as I saw them.


"It's for you, I meant to leave it and give it to you," they said.


"Are you serious?" I said as as wave of emotion began to rise up in my skin and bones.


Then, they told me the story of the hat.


"I was on the pier when a man came up to me and said, 'This hat has brought me luck. Since I've had this hat I have sobered up, gotten married and am making good money. My time with it is over. I am passing it on,'" they said.


My heart swelled as I listened to his story.


"Now it's time for me to pass it on and I am passing on the lucky hat to you," they said.


"What? "I said with wonderment as my eyes filled with tears. I have been choosing to be sober from alcohol and am wide open for new love and increased income. On this day of all days was I being given a lucky charm from a magic man?


I welcome Lady Luck in all her forms.


"What is your name?" I asked them as we embraced one another good and tight.


"Which one?" they answered smiling.


I did not miss a beat.


"Whichever name you would like to tell me in this moment to call you."


'Susie," they said. "You can call me Susie," they said smiling big as a summer's day rainbow.


"Thank you Susie," I said and reached out for another embrace.


"You are so welcome," and then just like that, they pulled away and wandered back into the market crowd.


I had a record day of sales in the Astoria Sunday Market. I kid you not.


I plan to wear my leopard trim lucky hat on the cooler weather days until the time comes for me to pass it along.


I am indeed one of the luckiest women in this wild and grand life experience.


<3

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