I was standing in the produce section surveying the bananas. I am banana obsessed and will carefully spend five minutes picking the best bunch. It reminds me of the little old ladies we called “milk maids” when I worked in the grocery store. They would spend fifteen minutes trying to find the perfect gallon or half gallon of milk with the furthest date of expiration; often going through the whole case of milk.
“HEY ANDREW!!!” Rang out and startled me as I stood there.
I was so intent upon find the perfect bunch of bananas that I had lost all connection with reality. I quickly turned to look.
“Shit, Germaine. You scared me,” I replied as I laughed.
Germaine is this big hulking black fellow that went to high school with me. I often find him buying his groceries at the same time I do on Tuesday nights. Germaine is so big he can’t walk. He has to use one of those motorized scooters to get around.
“How is Alex doing?” Germaine asked of my brother.
Germaine always asks about my brother and has a slight infatuation with him.
“He is still a doctor in the Navy and living in San Diego. His birthday is coming up at the end of the month,” I replied.
“What did you get him for his birthday?”
“I sent him thirty dollars to get a nice shirt for work in a card,” I replied.
Germaine can talk for hours and hours and I dread getting caught by him. I started trying to find ways to get out of this conversation.
“Man, I have really got to go to the bathroom,” I said in desperation.
“Well, don’t shit in your pants. Go use the bathroom,” Germaine said as he smiled goofily.
I quickly lost track of my banana selection duties and briskly walked to the back of Kroger to the bathroom. I disappeared inside a stall, closed the toilet lid, and sat down. I had narrowly escaped another hour long encounter with Germaine. I sat for the longest time until I thought it was safe to make an appearance. I slowly opened the door to look out upon an almost empty store laid out in front of me. I then quickly finished my grocery shopping and headed home.