March 11th, 2008

Scene 2

Two gents walk into the grocery store. They are wearing extremely nice suits, long overcoats flapping open. One is gangly and 6’3″-ish, one is about 5’8″, but both are strikingly attractive in that so-clean-as-to-look-wet, just-shaved-in-the-parking-lot way. They are somewhere in the low end of the twenties.

A lot of time is spent selecting baskets, which they swing Mary-Had-a-Little-Lamb style every time I encounter them in the aisles. I hear them talking loudly about how much they like spareribs and which kinds are best, but they don’t seem to know what they are looking for or to be putting much in their baskets. I see the tall one bounce off a display of cakes, basket swinging, overcoat flopping.

Rarely have such ingenuously heterosexual males been spotted shopping for supplies together. They walk so far apart they block a whole aisle, which they apologize for and attempt to cluster up, but it doesn’t work. Their shoulders are too wide, they talk to loudly, where will they swing the baskets? They wind up with about four items scrupulously divided and rattling around in the bottoms.

What can have brought about this state of affairs? Outword Bound corporate training program? Brothers evicted from parental home? Some sort of double-date doomed to ptomaine poisoning?

I lose them in frozen foods and go to check out. I am at register by myself in the otherwise crowded checkout area when the tall one passes by, basket swinging, probably dinging his canned crescent rolls. He walks towards my line, stops. He sees it is the shortest line, but he doesn’t join it. He stares nervously, watching me hand over my credit card. Is he checking me out? I *am* wearing cool tights. But nevermind, he’s at the *very* low end of the twenties. Pocket creditcard and receipt, gather bags.

As I retreat from the cashier, I sense tallboy advancing. He leans over the conveyor belt and speaks quietly and urgently to the cashier. As I leave the store, I hear over the PA system: “If there is a ‘Drew’ in the store, could he please report to the customer service desk? That’s DREW, please report to…”


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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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