Celery

Sh-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h. The mister hushed the nearby customers. He was just doing his job, ya know, wetting the baby bok choy and the watercress and the romaine lettuce. You’d think these customers would recognize that he was there. It’s not like he did his job haphazardly, he set his spray to a rhythm, enough of a rhythm that the celery expected it. But, the customers, the damned shoppers never did catch on. They’d just jump and sigh—disturbed by the getting wet, pissed at the spray.

One of those very shoppers made her usual route through the store. She browsed the wines to see if any good stuff was on sale. She moved toward the back of the store, letting the fermented goods catch the corner of her eye. But still moving on, she stuck to a tighter budget this week. She told herself that if she was going to have fermented food she would make it herself for a third of the price. Her mind hopped from recipe to recipe as her eyes pranced about the fruits. And then, at last, she closed-in on the wall of green. Spinach? Chard? Celery? Yes, celery. Her eyes locked with the light green stalks. Her hand reached in, feeling the chill of the environmentally/economically-thoughtless-electric-devouring, open refrigerator.

SH-H-H-H-H-H-H. The heaven’s floodgates shed their mist. The unsuspecting customer felt slightly lacerated by the involuntary lightning that shot about her bones. But, worse yet, she thought that perhaps someone had seen. Someone had seen her jump. Someone had seen her arm and face spat on by that devilish invention. She looked side to side—trying to see if there was anyone around. She looked down, yes, I am wearing pants. No, I haven’t peed myself. She tried to regain the recipe list in her mind. It was scrambled. No one stood around to laugh with or at her. And now, she was left with that shame stuck in her bones, thinking about what a sorry girl she is, how she should not have jumped, but she didn’t know what was coming and she didn’t like to be wet. She likes to be smart. She liked to make her own choices. She liked to be in control. And now, she was wet and cold, disgraced by the stupid vegetable mister. Nevertheless, she’d come back next week and do it again. She turned and started picking out the yams that suited her. The mister misted on, doing his job, living out the full potential of his existence only to aggravate distracted people.

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