An odd, true, non sequitur
March 27, 2009
I was in a grocery store yesterday. One of those stunted downtown locations with poor selection and busted prices. I wanted five things and felt put upon by the rival customers impeding me. The meandering of purposeless shoppers grates on my teeth: they were like a flock or retarded seagulls at the dump.
I watched a man pick up three red peppers and then stare for minutes at the clear plastic bag in his left hand, wholly unable to process the relationship between the two…as if someone else had put it there to trick him. Eventually he put the peppers back and grabbed some prepackaged baby carrots, which he then placed into the clear plastic bag. I can’t explain why, but it felt like a deliberate slight against me.
I was going to confront him, when an older women of middle eastern descent gently took my arm and said
“You remind me of spring”.
She had a fairly of a thick accent, but there was no question she’d just compared me to a season without prompting. It was oddly touching. I wanted to say something substantive in reply but all I could think of was
“Thank you, that’s a good thing to be reminded of”.
She laughed a bit, squeezed my arm again, and said
“Yes.Winter is almost beat”. Like she was giving me some small part of the credit.
I told her to have a good day and continued my shopping, much lighter for the interaction. Strange, but pleasant.