Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Back in the frozen foods, there’s an L-shaped, white, plastic kitchen unit with a glass front. It’s where the easy access seafood is housed, and there are pale, squishy scallops, along with rough, salmon-colored crab legs, residing in the antiseptic blue and sunken trays of the countertop. There’s usually some cheery young individual standing behind this counter with tongs who is always ready to supply you with as much of you want of the cold fish.
Today, as we marched towards the aisle containing the plastic kitchen bags in the back right-hand corner of the warehouse, I took a regular old glance over at the fish food, just because my eyes wandered to it, just because it happened to be within my line of sight. The young man working behind the little counter stood there, moving one unidentifiable piece of seafood to a tray, and another, and another, and, as he moved the squishy pieces of the sea, picking and moving and picking and moving, something about him became apparent. Something crazy, something weird that threw me off guard and caused me to stop my brisk steps towards the plastic bags in the back of the store. As my parents continued to pursue the bags, I stood a brief four or six feet in front of the seafood, watching the man through the glass case—the glass case like the front of an aquarium.
His body was the soft, rounded, undented kind, languid and ovular, looking like it was about to quickly slither right out of the long white jacket it was stuffed into. He stood stiffly, arms curved roundly out from his sides. Shifting large, wet, downcast eyes from side to side, he absently completed his fishy task, his features globular and blank in his smooth, chinless face. His skin pallid and bluish, he slid from side to side, with that stiff, rubbery arm darting, flapping out, pinching the last flailing bits of sea to move them into the recesses of the tray he seemed to be so protective of. As the small figure behind the glass finished his task, those large, bulbous, moist eyes darted up to meet mine for a split second—and then it was gone, swimming back into the small recesses behind the counter, and I was running to catch up with my parents.
PS: I have a really, really, really, really awesomely bad dating story to tell you guys--one of the worst ones that has ever happened to me in my entire life--but I can't, because this blog has become less private than desirable, without going totally private. But if you want the story, let me know, and I'll direct you to my other blog. It's a doozy.
at 10:55 PM