Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Strange Gluten

by Kris Pitcher

I wasn't sure from their sideways stares if maybe they couldn't smell gluten in my lipstick? But the women in the Gluten Free Bake Shop made me feel like a visitor to a foreign land.

Or, maybe it was the dress I was wearing covered up by my suit jacket. In comparison to their jeans, smocks and bare tattooed arms, I did stick out like a sore thumb. They continued to scurry about casting sideways glances. A friendly voice caught my ear but I couldn't place where it was coming from.

Sitting at an out of place desk behind what should have been a customer counter was a pleasant man with very well groomed eyebrows. He chattered on about the items they had, the farms they buy from, and their box delivery program.

"Are you gluten intolerant?" He quizzed me with a smile. Caught off guard I told the truth. I confessed that I was not, but I eat a mostly gluten free diet. He was happy with that and went on to tell me about their organic ingredients.

The decor was a mix of cast away house plants, country grocery, with a children's sitting area. A mish-mash of "where am I supposed to go" and "what is this place" swirled in my head.

By that point I felt like I had to buy something from this strange place in order to leave without a voodoo spell cast on me. Settling on some southwest pepper crisps I took them to him to pay for my purchase.

"Oh, you pay over there." He said pointing to the back of the store where the ladies were bustling in their head scarves in the kitchen. He hurried around from his counter, where he revealed to also be wearing a dress. Turns out he is a she, well blossoming anyway.

He was the only nice lady in there. She helped me with my purchase and smiled while the others scowled, not looking directly at me. I couldn't figure out if it was my lipstick, or my dress, or my sisterhood with their tranny that bothered them.

The whole thing was a little strange and cult-like. I'm sure there's not a gluten free cult you have to join first. But if I ever go back there, I sure hope s/he's there. In the meantime, I'm enjoying my crisps!  

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