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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A man pursues a woman in a grocery store.


Words 777

Selecting three bananas, I place them in a produce bag, dropping the package into my cart.
Bumping the cart along with my stomach (…believe I’ve done  good work there in reducing girth) while pushing my reading glasses further-up on my nose I scratch “bananas” from my list becoming attentive to the following item “milk”.
Dropping the pen and list into the cart, they light upon a container of strawberries.
Acquiring a two handed grip on the cart handle, I begin a determined march to the dairy cooler, shuffling along on the slick linoleum in my boat shoes.

Passing an aisle end my peripheral eye is drawn to two feet encased in espadrilles, a remarkable sight at Buehler’s Market in New Philadelphia, Ohio.
As my eyesight rises past her lower limbs, which are notably varicose free, instantaneously I know her as “Genet”.
Other than the word indicating “first” I can’t for my life think as to why but there you have it.
Swirling now in febrile excitement, I search for her age markers. She sports, navy blue short shorts, topped with a tailored cream blouse. Her short black hair is curly. I like her height.
I pass by the opening, so I turn down the next aisle, intending to come up at her from the other end.
What to say to her? My whole existence is fixated on this single, crucial question, how to open a conversation? My heart is bumping and thumping, an extraordinary sensation.
Coming around the corner, expecting to see her still in the spot I last spied her, the way is barren.
Of a sudden, I am lost. My head snaps around at the daft thought that is: I somehow came into the wrong space. As my senses gather, the cerebral assures me it can’t be.
Now, as my head jerks back I propel the cart up the aisle with eyes darting in futile furtive search.
In deflation, I push along to the dairy case, focusing once more on the milk.
My feet but hefts; there is a pronounced hunch in my back as my head, hanging as it does in a slouch, pulls on my spine.
Marveling as I move along at the rapidity with which sheer happiness may be transmuted to a profound disappointment.
My body feels flaccid; empty all energy seems sapped by the episode.
The varied dreams of moments ago, so real in their possibility, so potent in their augury, now assume a hue of childish fantasy.
My interest in grocery shopping wanes.
The excitement with which I looked forward to preparing new recipes dissipates.
I can’t even recollect why I thought gathering friends about my laden table would be joyful.
The blues hang heavy upon me.
I take the decision to abandon further shopping. I am unable to identify a purpose to procuring food.
I am rife with dejection.
Dragging a bent and damaged self towards the storefront whereat I may obtain release, I spy again, “Genet”.
I believe I feel my calves and thighs regain vigor. My backbone is once more erect; with head held high, a being reinvigorated.
She stands now before the canned soup, holding one in her hand while looking at another shelved.
I advance at a stately pace, sufficient to keep her in sight while slow enough to provide time to devise a prodigious offering.
The creature moves off.
I follow, insouciantly, picking up a can of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes here, a jar of currant (a berry I’m assuming) jam there. Moving slowly but still I keep visual contact.
Her attention is drawn to the poultry section, wherein she studies the offerings without a selection, however, in a movement of her hand I able to determine she wears no ring on her left hand.
I study pork sausages in unbounded joy.
She halts at the frozen food bank, studying the offerings through the door, in a contemplative stance.
I approach, open the adjoining door and reach in for a package of baby peas. I withdraw the peas. The door slams shut owing to its weight.
She looks up, appearing to be gently startled.
Her eyes are translucent hazel orbs, glistening in the artificial store light. Her lips conform to a Disney parody’s firm form.
I have an ineffable sensation at my pelvis. I sense I am attaining stratospheric voltage throughout my body while my rosacea is diminishing.
Looking straight into my face with a wide smile blazoned by bone white teeth above which reside large, greenish tan eyes she says, “Hi”.
I place the peas in my cart. Then with a curtly nod, I say “Hi” and move off.

The End




Submitted: September 05, 2015

© Copyright 2021 jeffrey a paolano. All rights reserved.

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