I was at the supermarket, a little ravenous because I hadn’t eaten yet and I’d been up for a few hours, though it was still morning. In retrospect I realize that I was circling the periphery, just like Michael Pollan’s recommendation about that. I came around to the salad bar/hot food area where the sandwich ordering happens. I was happy because there were free samples of this delicious cracked berry flatbread and, just a little further, small cubes of gouda. “Breakfast” I thought. Just then I turned and I saw him. He’s a lumbering hulk of a man. I had no idea. I guess I assume that they’re always short so when they’re tall it feels anomalous, almost unnatural. He was wearing a white button-down shirt with thick blue vertical stripes tucked into blue jeans, a black leather belt and burgundy loafers. He had on rectangular glasses that were perched down his nose a bit, as if he were reading a contract, but really he was just pushing around his shopping cart, circling the salad bar. His size made me think of the Spider Man movie where he becomes that man/machine hybrid who accidentally kills his wife played by the strangely cast Donna Murphy. I say strangely because sometimes when you see those Broadway actors in movies you can almost smell the stench of crossover desperation.
I went over and ordered my quinoa panini — who knew such a thing existed. The woman behind the counter said I could choose any bread I wanted and I acted surprised since on the board it said it comes on sourdough. Sometimes I get like that in these interactions, all demure and ladylike. “Oh, I can have it on anything?” I gasped like she was offering me a ride in her gilded carriage. I chose onion focaccia, mostly because I liked the look of it. I turned around and he was still circling the salad bar. I saw a young, pretty woman stop him and ask him a question. He leaned in a bit and then nodded his head. She must have asked him “Are you ______?” and he was like well yeah duh who else would I be. It must be bizarre to be always asked “Are you yourself?” and you say “Yes I am myself.” This has happened to me a couple of times and for a moment I feel like I’m in a parallel universe.
I couldn’t stop with the gouda and the flatbread. I must have looped back for it at least six times. I sort of have an eating problem. I thought I had lost sight of him – he eventually disappeared into the soaps and lotions section – but then we ended up next to each other again at the cash register. Here I clocked what he was getting – Fage yogurt, free range eggs, broccoli, beets. All good stuff. He looked like an out of place aging Italian playboy, like, what the hell are you doing at the supermarket, A? I couldn’t imagine him as anyone else at that moment, and then I remembered that he played Joe Orton in that movie long ago, oh with Gary Oldman who was so hot and scrappy looking then. They say Oldman’s a republican which is too sad to hear. A paid for his stuff with a gold Amex. That makes sense.