Friday, March 21, 2003

effortlessly fruitless

the greengrocer facing the clock on the bridge clears his throat impatiently.
“YES?” he croaks.
he addresses even a solitary customer as if the queue were out the door.
she takes her time.
“pineapple then?” he fidgets.
she usually buys pineapple, but it is not looking particularly appetizing today.
“no”, she responds. “not pineapple, it’s not at its best.”
“maybe you should visit an optometrist,” retorts the greengrocer, wiping his nose on his sleeve.
she straightens, and looks him in the eye, while one corner of her mouth curls uncontrollably upward.
“excuse me?", she asks.
“ there’s nothing wrong with that pineapple. i just chopped it.”
“ and you probably chopped it very capably. perhaps the whole pineapple was inferior. i’ll have the tomatoes, please, with the…”
“it’s about time we had a war!”
“excuse me?” she asks again. the humour of the situation is quickly eluding her.
“in times of war, people learn to appreciate what they have!” he snorts.
“i’m sure they do. with the cucumber and feta, please.”
“my pineapple is as fresh as can be.”
“i’m sure it is. could I have a fork please?”
“some people,” he barks, and slides an exorbitant sum into the till.
the bell rings as she shuts the door behind her. the clock on the eenhoornsluis reads twelve twenty-three.
her lunch break is almost over.
she strolls peacefully officeward.

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