Redemption In The Produce Aisle
She without explanation ran into the apartment building, up the stairs and slammed the door. We'd been dating a few months and had passed out of that phase of ecstatic discovery. Or, at least, she'd progressed that far. She wouldn't answer my knocks or calls and when I later returned to the upstairs hallway a box of my random belongings greeted me. And that, as they say, was that. A few days followed of confusion and seeking boozy solace with friends, "Wuddiya gonna do?" my pal Joe shrugged in his fake Noo Yawkese. "They're all crazy." That seemed the case, then, though I suspected perhaps I was the crazy one, and not in the best way. But I went on, as one does, and events occurred, and I met my bride and on occasion I would see this long ago inamorata lingering at yard sales or passing in the street, and she for a long while wouldn't make eye contact. We moved up to basic acknowledgment, when it happened, which wasn't often. Then a few years ago I'm choosing sweet potatoes from the bin at Kroger. And up she comes, pushing a cart, and looking harried. "Harry," she says. "I owe you an apology." She felt that her present unhappy circumstances had some karmic thread and that the way she treated me more than two decades previous had some lingering negative effects on her life. I admitted to not forgetting this incident and that it stuck out in mind like some weird story that happened to somebody else. She asked about my situation, and I, there before the dumb witnesses of potatoes, accepted her contrition. The central mystery remains of what actually happened to make her flee that day. She said it was her fault, not mine, and again was sorry that no better explanation existed. I guess in the end we're all crazy. It's a matter of finding somebody whose particular brand of aberration meshes well enough with yours to keep the wheels moving and prevents them from grinding each other apart. I don't know if this offering she made to me at the store improved her lot. But she wanted to end the story, which trailed off in sparking ellipsis, and in so doing, concluded that moment for both of us. We should all be so lucky.