I Give You Always

Wednesday night I had to drive down to the town for a file-switch with the lawyer.

On my way back up the hill, I stopped at the cheap gas station for some fumes for the truck. While there, I thought I’d also pick up a pack of smokes.

I asked the guy for some GPCs, and he crouched down to rummage around under the counter. He began emitting muffled language, but I couldn’t understand it: he hails from the Middle East, and I do not, so there was something of a communication problem.

When his head reappeared, I was able to understand that he was offering that if I bought two packs, I could get them for ten dollars. Which is something of a deal around here. So I said yes: he sold me.

I asked him if the place always offered GPCs that cheap, and he pointed to a hand-lettered sign inlaid on the counter, offering, for a time, Marlboros and Camels, at two packs for ten bucks. He let me understand that he thought he’d pass the same deal on to me with GPCs.

I thanked him, and turned to go.

“Come back,” he said. “I give you always.”

Now, I know that he meant that if I kept coming by the store, he would recurrently sell me the smokes two packs for ten dollars. This he expressed in “incorrect” English. But I was so charmed with what he said. So much finer than “real” English.

“I give you always.” What a wonderful thought.

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1 Response to “I Give You Always”


  1. 1 Julia Rain (the deviant daughter) November 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    It is a wonderful thought.

    I absolutely love “broken” English, the way those whose first language is not English translate their words into English. I’m particularly fond of Chinese broken English, which likes to proclaim everything as some variant of “happy”. Thai food menus are good too – after all, who wouldn’t want to order something called “Ginger Favorite Fish”? All sorts of wisdom to be found in translation.


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