I found it at Trader Joe’s, stacked behind the canned tomatoes in a small space where the food packers had forgotten to push back far enough.
On a Saturday - late morning/early afternoon - there are usually too many hands reaching for the same things or reaching for different things and criss-crossing overunder each other to get there. A general sense of chaos - Trader Joe’s on a Saturday. But I found it anyways.
I put it in my basket, and joined the line. We baskets became the line, serpentine vertebrae, snaking around the store, pushing our wheels forward a little at a time. How funny to become one thing with one mind - until your number is called. My number was called and I detached from my snake-family and wheeled my way to Cheryl.
Cheryl was #10. That’s what they said. But she radiated beyond this world of imported tomatoes and sliced cheese. When she filled up my grocery bags she saw what I had found and chuckled - we were onto something here. Taking my hand, ‘my dear,’ she said ‘you have yourself a blessed day.’ I smiled.
Back on the train, bags full of things to eat for a week. An older man limped on, you could see years of alcohol painted on his face in swathes of mottled red. Times were tough - I offered him my seat. Sitting down he wordlessly reached for my hand to shake it. I, hesitating, gave it to him. We shook hands and holding on afterwards, he turned our hands over and kissed the back of mine. I smiled. He went back to his trance looking into another world.
I counted my Saturday blessings: two.