On the Surface

I really didn’t want the vendors at this good-for-the-earth, locavore-friendly food market on the waterfront overlooking the east side to know I was a deadbeat who would not be buying their hand, foot or mind-wrought wares. Sure, when nutrition was my preeminent issue, I didn’t worry too much about appearances — all samples were rapaciously and gratefully (if not gracefully) enjoyed. But I would not starve this day. I had eaten a roll.

And a banana.

So, these high-end samples were a luxury, emblematic of a life well-lived as a member of of the penniless gentry. I could afford to skip a given blend of hand-tossed granola and only taste three.

For appearances.

Still, somehow they knew. I could see it in the way they looked at me. I could feel it.

“How do they know?,” I asked myself after a typical indulgence, perhaps of one of the many varieties of love-crusted pickles speckled about the campus.

As my hand clutched used sample spoons, along with business cards from other stalls, freshly smudged with the nice chocolate on a significant number of my fingers.


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