Rosalita Torres

The snow swirled over the sidewalk sending sweet sugar tornadoes whipping around my boots. I had eleven uncompromised Swisher Sweet candies jumbled in a cotton-mess in my pant pocket. Given the opportunity, I would have popped the whole sticky chunk-chaplin chowder pile in my mouth. As it was, it would have been totally inappropriate.

It was the second Saturday in December, and the cosmetics counter at Eaton's ruled the city. Two-thirds of the population wavered around the wafting scents of perfume and maquillage and their over-lipsticked advocates smiling like polished hyenas. I was there for Rosalita Torres.

Being hungry, with a keen craving for Swisher Sweet candy and maple donuts, I wandered through the snow with frustrated agility. You might note that being hungry rarely affects my dexterity. Neither does Rosalita Torres. In fact, she's been known to double it on a couple of sweat-stained occasions.

Eaton's was humming hymns of madness and consumer fraud, when I approached the candy counter, coseyed comfortably beside the cosmetics. With the firm understanding that the smiling sales staff was in total control of our country, I purchased three fresh, unadulterated Swisher Sweet Candies. I slipped them in my pocket and went to meet Rosalita Torres.

A man with a fur hat looked at me and called me Joe. That's not my name. Nor is Norris. Pushing him aside, Rosalita Torres was revealed. She was everything, as always. "It's the winter," she told me.

It was warm in Eaton's. The kind of warm that moistens your eyebrows and weighs on your neck. Dull hissing wiped the air clear of silence and noise. Rosalita Torres looked perplexed.

"Swisher Sweets?" I offered her my chaplin chunk. Eaton's took a deep breath, plump with pre-test perfumes. For a second, the hissing stopped and the candy glistened anew. I smiled at the Right Honourable Make- Up lady and I was granted reprieve. She took my Swisher Sweet. Then Rosalita Torres, with a broad smile, took it to her lips.

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