thinking i'd find a place near my office to drop my shoes off i walk past this place.
i enter and a teeny italian lady named maria shouts at me, "hello! what you need!" (not phrased as a question, but more like: whatever it is, i have it!)
"um, just the heels redone on these shoes," as i pull them out of my bag. "how much?"
in one swift movement she's taken the shoes out of my hand, thrown them to a guy in back all while yelling "six dollars! while you wait! tonio, now! while the lady waits! rush job tonio!!!"
she seems to know the other people coming in by name. she orders them around also. already, i felt like family. "next time, soles done," she says to the woman behind me.
a young man comes in with a pair of slingbacks with a broken buckle, "you bring in for wife. good husband. come back, one week!"
and all of a sudden, less than three minutes after they'd been whisked away, my shoes were back up front, looking beautiful. "you want nice bag for these! saks fifth avenue! fancy store!" as she puts my shoes in the charcoal grey bag i noticed autographed pictures (one from al pacino) addressed to maria hanging in frames. what kind of a shoe place is this?
still yelling at me, "your first time here!" again, not a question, a statement. "you'll be back. welcome to the club, welcome to the club!"
maria, i'll see you soon.