Today’s grocery list was rather short and healthy:
- 1/2 pound of Bulgarian feta
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 red pears
- 3 red apples
- 4 organic bananas
All for the price of $10.48. Going 48 cents over the ten-dollar bill I offered myself as I walked in the store was well worth it. I didn’t even notice that the quantity of what I got increased precisely by one (if you don’t count the feta), and that for some reason, 60 percent of my groceries were red.
The color of my local supermarket.
Am I on crack? You’d think so. But I notice these things at times in a very comfortable, cozy-in-the-back-of-my-essence way. I am an observant copy editor, and I love my neighborhood. On my way home, I twisted the handle of my plastic bag and thought about the reasons: the warm buzz in the supermarket, the familiarity of its aisles, the comfort of knowing the little streets that make a 90-degree angle to lead from subway to store to home.
The series of entities as I greet them when I walk out of the subway towards home: First the guys that, no matter how cold outside, stand at the bottom of the subway stairs and hand you gym membership cards, then the Brazilian buffet with the crazy Friday night ethnic karaoke parties, the newspaper stand with the sleazy Indian guy, the eyebrow-threading place, the digital image store, the T-mobile store, the three sisters’ nail salon, the random ophthalmologist. The street (cross it), the big (in New York standards) parking lot, the supermarket, the friendly falafel guys outside it whipping up award-winning delicacies and bubbling my name out in their exuberant greeting as I pass. The intoxicating smell of the Christmas trees lying on the pavement these days, waiting to be ushered into homes. The more homely smells as I turn the corner to walk along my own street: flower shop, bread, laundry, homemade cuisines.
A sharp, sugary smell hit me when I walked into my buliding tonight. I stopped to check my mail, and I could hear the illegal Mexican families of the first-floor apartment laughing, bonding over dessert. I fiddled with the envelopes stuffed into the little box and smiled as I recognized the distinct crimson of the Netflix envelope. My own private joy.
My other joys of weekday evenings are walking up the stairs to my apartment. I arrive at around 7 if I get out of work on time, or later if I’m sipping on Stellas somewhere across town or meeting friends for movies. If I go grocery shopping, then 7:30 is right about the time I open my front door, and then I pet my cat Freddy, plop down on the couch and join him for dinner.