milk and a treat

The Inman Square Supermarket is a relic from another era. In addition to the standard candy, lottery tickets, and grocery necessities, it sells whiffle balls, shoes, electric tape, pots (garden or stovetop), kitty litter, and wrapping paper. Need a broom? Check. Imported hot sauce? Check. Vinyl table cloth? Check. Z. and I wandered in there a few weeks ago and marveled at the bounty resting on the market’s cluttered, dusty shelves.
Today, when I remembered that the milk I purchased on the 18th was actually dated the 17th (and pungently useless), I headed into the market. An elderly woman in a bright sari sat on a chair near the door. I paid the woman behind the counter as a gray-haired man in a Red Sox cap picked up a plastic bag and rubbed his hands on the top to find the opening, so that he could bag my milk. As the woman handed me my change, the man said, “you’ve had a long day,” and he gave me one individually wrapped Sour Patch Kid. I thanked him graciously (“they’re my favorite”), and he bid me good night.

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