Wabbit Season

Bez and I come up the stairs from the BART station, and the first thing we see is a woman on the corner wearing a plastic rabbit mask. It’s a standard Halloween effort, with an elastic band going around the back of her head, a cartoony-Bugs Bunny rip-off.

“I’m in love with her,” Bez says as the woman crosses the street. “We should follow her.”

“Of course we should,” I say, and so we do. For five blocks we tail the rabbit woman, who is tiny and delicate and long-eared. When she stops at a coffee shop and goes in, we follow after her. Inside, we realize the rabbit woman works here, because she goes behind the counter and ties an apron around her waist.

“Coffee,” Bez says. “I need coffee right this second.” We step into the line and wait to place our orders.

“I wonder if they have carrot cake?” I say to Bez.

“I can’t tell if that would be a rude question to ask or the absolutely best thing to say,” she says.

We reach the counter, and the rabbit woman says, “Hi there. What can I get you?” She has a voice thick like peanut butter, which doesn’t seem to fit her small frame.

“I don’t care,” Bez says, never one to beat around the bush. “Coffee or something. It doesn’t matter. I just wanted to see you up close.”

“Why is that?” the woman asks.

“Why do you think?” Bez says.

The woman reaches up and idly scratches the cheek of the rabbit mask. “It’s the eye patch, isn’t it?”

“The eye patch,” Bez says.

The rabbit woman nods. “I get asked about it all the time. I’m used to it by now.”

Bez and I both lean in closer to observe the woman, and I realize that I can only see one blue eye looking back at me through the mask. The left hole is black inside.

“I hadn’t even noticed,” Bez says. “I was just wondering about the mask, actually.”

“Well, it’s Monday,” the rabbit woman says. “You know how it is.”

“I so do,” Bez says. “If it’s rabbit masks on Monday, what do you wear on Tuesday?”

“You’ll have to come back tomorrow and find out.”

To me, Bez says, “I love this city.” To the rabbit woman, she says, “What time are you in tomorrow?”

“Same time as now,” she responds.

“That is so brilliant,” Bez says. She pulls some money out of her pocket and slips a ten into the tip jar on the counter. “Tomorrow I’ll have coffee. I’m satisfied enough with the way this day is going to not need any more stimulation today.”

We leave the shop, and outside again, I say to Bez, “You are unstoppable.”

“A force of nature,” she agrees.

“If you don’t call me the minute you see what she’s wearing, I will be very disappointed.”

“First call I’ll make,” she promises.

Like Bez says: I love this city.

 

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