Today I met my match at the grocery store. He, who identified as she, was generously spraying whipped cream on top of a humble sample of strawberry shortcake. Disapproving looks were given, but she remained sure. In a way she had to, society was already against her, long before she unapologetically indulged in samples. I envied her steadiness. It was something I suddenly longed for. I consider myself an ambassador for non verbal communication. Posture and body language captivate me beyond measure, and so when we locked eyes, not much needed to be said, we both understood the other's intentions. Only she had nothing to hide, and I had everything to lose.
We found solidarity without a single word ever spoken. We were sample hustlers. The ones that have perfected the art of acting unusually curious about the new product we are trying, knowing full well we will never buy it, not today, not any day. In fact we may have only walked into the grocery store for that sample. Or at best we might have conveniently forgotten a key ingredient for dinner, so our eager tastebuds could be justified, and we could experience another new sample.
She finally broke the comfortable silence. ”Come here, just look at her," she insisted, pointing to an un orderly flower amongst a painfully obedient bunch. It was true, her shape and texture was really something. "And just look at these billy balls," she pointed, "they are my absolute favorite." "Mine too!" I calmly boasted, "they always have been." It went on and on, we dissected and praised the entire bouquet, and gave human characteristics to an array of flowers I might have walked right past, if it wasn't for this kindred spirit, and her shameless portion of whipped cream. I walked away deeply satisfied and smitten, but wishing our encounter and poetic exchange was not such an anomaly. Vulnerability has long been one of my strong suits, and yet this experience felt a little more foreign than familiar. It seems I've been a little out of practice. Or maybe I have just lost touch with my people. Probably both, but I want more of this. More rebelious flowers, more vulnerable takers, and of course, more samples.