One woman asks what I need, meaning what would cause me to open my purse. I think of the long list of intangibles I crave. She asks, what colors would sell better?

Another spreads all of her pieces on my small table, looks into my face, pleading only ten pesos.

Almost free:
Andean music
Spatulas and shoe shines
Perfume samples, candy apples

Made by hand:
Decorated toothpicks
Tablecloths and placemats
Heaps of blouses and shawls
Decorative gourds
Shoe shines

For your nieces:
Coin bags
Wooden chickens pecking

Special delivery:
Bottled water
Fried tortillas
Nieves and palomitas
Corn tamales
Pork rinds and chips of all kinds

While you wait:
The word of god in English and Spanish
The chance to help a hungry man with a bamboo cane
A flower wreath to wear in your hair
A portrait of you and your lover right here, right now

Is this my education for learning to say no?

One Reply to “Gracias, no.”

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