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PALM LATITUDES

State Of Mind

September 29, 1991|Ellen Alperstein | EDITED BY MARY McNAMARA

Poking around the kitchenwares department of STOR, in search of a Euro-stepladder, we encountered a slight young woman considering a selection of knives in a butcher-block display. Her long black hair swung forward, obscuring her face from view, but we could tell from her stance that she was intent upon her mission. She reached out to the largest piece of cutlery and, in one powerful, swift motion, withdrew it from the block. She replaced the knife and repeated the gesture as if to test the weapon's "action." Apparently satisfied, she held the knife at her side momentarily, then raised it to shoulder level and thrust it crisply downward, in a Norman Batesian move. My husband and I exchanged looks and moved silently down the aisle toward safer merchandise. But we stayed away from the shower curtains.

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