I buy a lot of fruit, eat a lot of fruit, and drink fruit juice often. The lady at one of the shops I go to knows me as well as any fruit vendor could. She calls me the “young dude”. The bananas had not arrived yet, but she said they would be there in a bit, so she offered me a chair, and I waited for them. Though I didn’t request it, she made a phone call to ask how long I, the young dude, had to wait for the bananas to arrive. I wondered when I would be old enough to be the old dude. It was drizzling outside, but I was under the awning, and I was in no rush. The fruit lady apologized for the delay and then asked me if I had also heard that the visa restrictions to America were getting looser. (How about that for a little irony?) She had, and she was planning a trip to go there. She had already been to Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Japanese culture interested her, Australian cities were clean and full of beautiful buildings, and the grassy countryside in New Zealand was peaceful, but she still wanted to check out the scene in the U.S. Though she enjoyed traveling, she never thought of leaving her life at the fruit stand. Interesting. I paid my money, and set off to get a cup of espresso.
The guy behind the counter asked me if I had been eating spicy food. What? How could I have such a big zit on my head if I hadn’t been eating too much hot food? Oh, the zit. I still am a young dude. The boss came over with his friendly grin and offered me another cup. I paid my bill, and set off to get my head shaved. Usually I have to wait in line, but the shop wasn’t busy and I got the old pro. He said my hair grew quickly [HA!], and commented on the big zit on my head. The girl next to me was getting extensions put in. It stank of those weird hair chemicals. The pro head shaver took his time. I was looking and feeling much better when he got up to grab a new razor. I didn’t have to worry because he assured me that, unlike the younger barbers, he would be careful not to cut the mole on the back of my neck. Then, just when I thought he was done, he started to shave my ears. What did that guy put in my espresso? I’m young enough to still get zits, and old enough to have hair on my ears? It was Tuesday. Who needs Fridays when the weekdays are this good? I paid my money, and set off to the office. One of our computers got a virus. The doctor was on his way. I gave strict instructions that lunch would not be of the Sichuanese persuasion again today. The last thing I needed was another zit.
By Tim Hoerle