Friday, November 5, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

Today at the Tractor Supply, a youngish man came in, wearing a dirty Carhartt bibs. He'd been working hard, and he looked darn tired. He bought some hardware, but he also bought, surprisingly, a candle. It was one of our novelty candles, and it is molded into a little cast iron skillet. He touched it with his big calloused hands as I rang up his things. "I been wanting one of these," he said. "Did you ever smell one?" I said, "Yes, I like walking past the aisle. It smells pretty nice in that corner." He insisted. "Did you ever smell this one, though?" So, to please him, I took a whiff of it. Vanilla Pumpkin. Smelled like a pumpkin pie. "It is nice," I agreed. He said, "I've wanted that candle since the first time I smelled it."

You know, you can tell when people are lonesome, sometimes. They make small talk. They want to talk. Even if it's a cashier in the Tractor Supply. He took his chainsaw accessories, and his candle and he headed for the door. I pictured him sitting by himself in his kitchen, eating a late supper in his kitchen, smiling quietly at his memories as his pumpkin pie candle burned in its little cast iron skillet.

12 comments:

WhiteStone said...

I wish I could enjoy those candles...any candles. But my nose no longer likes them. Now if they made one that smelled like fresh mountain air.......

Jayne said...

Oh.
The mental image conjured up a lonely, but kind, soul.
Cos I don't think the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was done by someone who like Vanilla Pumpkin scented candles.

Twain12 said...

this actually makes me kind of sad...i hope he is not lonely

quid said...

I think there is a difference between lonely and lonesome, not found in a dictionary. You captured it when you use the word lonesome. The lonely are worried about being lonely; they want to change it. The lonesome are long-term alone; they capture little moments like the one you revealed to us, but really are living a singular life by choice, and just need a moment now and then.

from the book of Quid Rock.

quid

Karen said...

I'm thinking that maybe ... he's taking the candle home for his special someone to enjoy. Maybe he was seeing if you liked it, too. A kind of test before he presents it to his lady? I don't know - I'm just an old romanticist at heart that can't be snuffed out!

Kelly said...

Aww. This conjured up a sad image for me. But, hey...I like Quid's comment. My image doesn't seem sad that way. Just solely content.

Debby said...

Well, usually, when you get a fellow buying a candle for his girlfriend, he's quick to mention that it's for his girlfriend, so that you know that he would never buy a scented candle for himself. But he was quite a pleasant looking guy, in his late 20s, I'd guess. My take on it is that he's by himself for the time being, but I don't think that he'll be by himself for the rest of his life. He did not strike me as a hermit. He did not strike me as even unhappy. Just solitary.

It sticks with me though that the smell of pumpkin pies is evocative, the sort of thing that triggers pleasant memories of holidays gone by. For him to get a whiff of that candle and want it since he smelled it, I think it was something that reminded him of something else, something nice.

steviewren said...

My favorite candle scents are apple pie and pumpkin, vanilla or cinnamon...which either means I like food too much or the holidays are happy memories...maybe it's the same for him too.

Bill of Wasilla said...

Now I'm lonesome, too - lonesome for pumpkin pie - and the dear, departed, sweet mom who made the best.

Mikey said...

Awww. I hope he's not lonesome for long. A guy who likes candles... I would think he won't be.

Dorincard said...

Interesting blog...even without many pictures. :)
Best wishes to you!

Hal Johnson said...

Loved this. Took me back in time.