Such an agreeable customer. Suit and bowtie. Warm smile. Always buys the most interesting selection of fruits and tomatoes. Always organic; fruit I’ve never heard of let alone tasted. Little else. I’ve’ waiting on him for more than 3 years mostly on Monday afternoons. Never asks for a senior discount. Finally, I ask him, “Sir, may I ask why you always buy fruit and tomatoes and little else?” Gives me that warm smile; tells me he’s a composer and symphony conductor. “Fruit is my muse; I choreograph from the outrageously bold and brazen, to the sublime, right down to barebones minimal with fruit as my inspiration. Consider, the red raspberry. Now think of the lemon or lime. Let me give you a piece of advice: only the most sophisticated listener knows when he is hearing a tomato. Yes, yes, tomatoes are fruit. The nightshade family, you know.”
On the far side of sublime, tipping to the unpleasant is my steady customer, the forensic pathologist. Early on he told me his profession. Quite the reputation with our meat and fish counters. He asks for the most smelly meat & fish. Of course, we can’t and won’t sell him anything expired. He tries that with all new staff. You can see him going up and down the aisles searching for any item nearing expiration. I wish he wouldn’t smile; his teeth aren’t nice. That’s not the worse part of his face. His eyes are dead.
Me? I’ve been working at this friendly, full-service grocery chain going on 7 years. Actually, 7 years next month on the 15th. Never thought I’d be here this long. My dream? To make a killing. On what? I want to patent human idiosyncrasies. Einstein never did that! Bet he ate tomatoes, though.
Kit Kennedy has published 3 collections of poetry including while eating oysters (CLWN WR BKS, Brooklyn). Her work has appeared in FLRev, CLWN WR, Otoliths, Great Weather for MEDIA, Van Gogh’s Ear, The Pedestal Magazine, Switched-on Gutenberg, among others. She lives in San Francisco where she serves as Poet In Residence of SF Bay Times. At any time, she owns no less than 5 pairs of red shoes.