Grocery Run

At the grocery store today, I picked up a bag of carrots. I was about to turn away when I heard a voice say, “很美, hor?” (Aren’t they beautiful?)

I looked up. It was one of the aunties who worked at the grocery store. Short and silver-haired, she looked back at me with a gentle smile.

Frankly I hadn’t noticed. Monday is Grocery Run Day. After dropping Aramis off at school, I have 3 hours to get the goods, zip home, cram as much work in as I can, before I have to make lunch for the hungry hordes. So I pick up carrots like I pick up scattered laundry – as quickly as I can.

I looked back down at the carrots. They looked like every other carrot I had ever seen. Long, orange, firm. What else was there to appreciate?

I looked back at her and forced a smile. Yes, they are, I said.

She told me that they had just come in that morning, so fresh-looking, so firm, and they were on sale too. She had just been bagging them, and was clearly full of admiration for the harvest before her.

I looked back at the carrots and somehow they looked brighter than a few seconds ago. I thanked her, and as I continued down the vegetable aisle, I walked a little more slowly, and let my gaze linger over the greens.

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