She lies in wait, cleverly hiding behind a disguise of wrinkles and curled gray hair. Her head ticks from side to side, her glasses casting a reflective glint. She seems frail, her thin shoulders covers in a flimsy wind-breaker fabric, making me want to hold doors open for her. In her trembling fingers she grips the object of her evangelism: slick magazines with a bold, red masthead. But I know too well from past experience that it will never stop.
Out of the corner of my eye, I watch her, noting her bearing. If she goes left, I can just squeeze by on the right, while she’s distracted bleating out her call to another victim.
I turn to talk to my friend, we laugh, exchange information. Suddenly, too late! She’s closing in. “Girls! I have to talk to you about something! It’s a really great deal you should take advantage of! Have your heard of this magazine: American Super Old and Boring Family? It has lots of information you need to know…” She breaks off and turns. Someone has tapped her shoulder.
I glance at my friend. Escape! We both turn, head for the door. I glance behind us. The Evangelist continues to chat. We’re safe!
We continue to talk next to the elevator, finishing thoughts before we go our separate ways. Just before we go, I look past my friend. Oh no! she’s cornered us again. I look around: no escape route this time. I’m surrounded by three walls. The only way out is past the Evangelist.
“There you are, girls! Now I have to tell you, you should really get this magazine. It’s the best thing you’ll read all month.”
She waves glossy pages toward my hair.
“Because we have a group membership, it’s only $5!” she squawks. “Only $5!”
“Not this time,” I tell her with a frantic smile. We push past her, through the open door, exchanging glances and sighs of relief.
Finally, that’s over and done. I’ve avoided her brazen appeal for now.
But there’s always next year to think about.