Thursday, December 15, 2005

Time for prayers

A framing shop on Connecticut Ave, near the Van Ness subway station. It is a little after 10 in the morning and there is still a "Closed" signed posted although the business hours indicate that the store is opened from 10 AM to 6 PM everyday.
I peer inside and see a woman at the counter. She is wearing the traditional head cover of religious Muslim women. She gestures toward me and I push the door open. She smiles widely in explaining that she just had forgotten to change the sign. I explained to her what I want: a new cut in a mat I already have. I show her the picture that I want framed, the mat and new cut I'd like to do in the mat. She told me that the machine can't do that because there is a minimum length for a cut. She seems to know a lot on the different cuts available, the advantages of each techniques. The bottom line is that I am probably going to have to buy a new mat. $12. I'm not sure I want to do that so I tell her that I will think about it and come back during the day if I decide to do it. "Do you close for lunch?" I ask. "No" she said, "I am opened for lunch but I close for my prayers." She pauses as if she was computing something and then adds "Today I'll close around 3 PM and around 5 PM. I'll put a sign outside." I smile and ask "How long is the prayer?". She does not smile back but answer gravely "about 15 mn." I nod and tell her that I'll be back if I decide to buy a new mat instead of just cutting the old one. I did recognize the flame in her eyes: she has the fervor of the newly converted.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A woman like this does not deserve to make mats. Someone should keep an eye on her. Is there a list we can put her on?

3:29 AM  

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