Shopping at Puget Consumer's Co-op this afternoon,
I was dismayed at not seeing anyone I knew. I
dawdled by the beer cooler, pondering the many
varieties, wondering which hip new label would
appeal to the twenty-somethings at my Christmas table.
I knew that if I stood there long enough, someone
I knew would walk in, and sure enough, my friends
Carol and Tom appeared, as if on cue.
We talked beer, Carol recommended a Pinor Noir,
Tom rustled up the Cheese Man who recommended
a Manchego substitute, of which they were out.
I next caught Tom sifting through brussel sprouts,
picking out the tiniest. Wish someone in my house
liked brussel sprouts! He asked me if I'd ever heard
his brussel sprout story, and I said no. One must
settle-in to listen to a Tom Porter story, so that I did
among the portobella's and watercress and Dungeness Farm carrots
(among the gridlock of grocery carts and elbowing
produce seekers): Tom was hitchhiking in California,
must've been twenty-five-thirty years ago, and sometime
in the middle of the night, was suddenly let out
of the car in which he was traveling, in the dark,
and just possibly a bit hazy from a certain
inhalation. He awoke the next morning in the middle
of a field of brussel sprouts. No explanation:
that's just where he was. And that was his breakfast:
brussel sprouts, raw, fresh off the stalk.