Today will be like yesterday. Yesterday was hot and so will today be. Knowing that I woke early already hot and took a cold shower. A quick stop to say “Hi!” to the girls and feed the bunnies then off on a pleasant Sunday morning ride. It wasn’t too hot under the shadows of leaves but the sunshine brought the foreboding sweat of another hot summer day in the city. Hitching my pony up and surveying the asphalt was already starting to bustle. Grabbing the last jet cart I went into the cool and readied for another interesting interaction with my own species.
A younger crowd this morning and many in gym garb welcomed the produce. That also meant there were more cell phones present. “Who can have a conversation over a cabbage?” I thought. Still wiping the sweat from my forehead, I picked up my four containers of blueberries and bag of raw peanuts and pivoted to the deli section. A short well-dressed man in suspender on crutches leaned again the pre-made food display. I can wait until he makes his selection not even thinking how me works both crutches and carries something.
“That pie looks good, but $2.00 for one slice of pie is a bit steep for me. It is like a $5.00 cup of coffee. I won’t pay that” I thought as I waited. Then perusing the pre-package ready-made pre-cooked selections that I’ve been feeding myself for the past week has lost their appeal. “It is too hot to eat”.
“Seed!” was my next mission. I forgot yesterday and am ashamed.
I slowly stroll to the other end of the store whistling a happy song of whatever fills my head at the time and observing my cast of characters. There are a few who have that struggling look of just doing another chore. Some seems enhanced by the search of the perfect selection and many of these young ones looking all healthy and unconcerned by the heat fill their carts with glee.
Over by the magazines is a youngster on her cell with a body similar to an Olympian and is much appreciated. The blond ponytail in the black skin tight outfit reveling her back tattoos was a show stopper to, if only she hadn’t block my passage with the older woman figuring out scented candles.
For the most part, the crowd seems fairly pleasant unlike the hustle of the lunch crowd or the after work panic.
Not finding anything of munchies interest, I wheel over to the beverage section and fill the other half of the cart. It is not cold but it is wet.
I get inline for the conveyer TSA of food knowing the inspector. In front of me is a smiling talkative guy with a full cart, but I’m not in a hurry to get back into the heat.
The 40-something white dude in his polo shirt and starched shorts unloads his selections on the conveyer as Kate scans each and Oscar, the tall dimwitted smiling black man fills the paper bags mumbling his unintelligible mutterings. The white dude, who I’ve seen blocking my way before, seems intent on having a conversation with anyone who is listening.
As I unload my meager choices behind his massive load, we strike up an interaction. He mentions something about coupons and organic selections then looks at me and ask “Don’t you agree?”
What do you say to a stranger, no matter how energetic he is? “It is all in your head.” I replied.
That started a whole string of healthy eating, jogging 5 miles, medical profession, wife check discounts, VW repairs subject like you have at a cocktail party with a complete stranger. No one passed business card or phone numbers but it was a brief uplifting conversation between two people. We even got into Zen.
He looked at my selections of blueberries, raw peanuts and light beer and said, “You seem to be eating well.” Kate chimed in and said, “They are for his rabbits.” He seemed surprised but approved.
The woman behind me seemed impatient with our long conversation and Kate was in no hurry to rush me out so I had a moment to reflect on what had just happened.
I saw him again in the parking lot talking to a passing car. He just seemed like a happy fellow.
With all the news of murders and riots and wars, it is nice to see someone who is smiling and maybe enjoying life.
As I packed up and strapped on my helmet, he drove up and stopped. He flashed me the peace sign and lowered his side window. He looked at my bike and said, “I like you style.”
I gave him the peace sign back as he drove off in his black Mercedes loaded with organic food and well off hipster acceptable stuff.
I have no idea who that guy was but for a brief moment in time to interact with someone who is not complaining about politics or prices or whatever upsets everyone these day is rare. Just two guys standing in a waiting line to purchase consumer goods that help them survive without any prejudice of status or philosophy.
“Thank dude, you made my day."