At the bus stop last night I spoke to the youth. He was wearing all black and I wondered if he worked at a business in the area. I had been craning my eye down the street looking for a bus; three minutes, he said.
I eventually sat down on the bench. It was only after he said “It’s coming” and we stood up that I said have you been to Urth Caffe lately? Where? Urth? No.
Last night I was there and they had free pumpkin pie samples, I said. I was almost thinking I would go back tonight to see if they had another one.
It’s always good to get something free, he said. He said he’d gone into Pavilions and they had free samples of sushi and he had grabbed two.
He looked hard at me as if wondering if I could appreciate a sushi sample.
I said I never went to Pavilions.
He said Pavilions was a little more expensive.
I thought of saying the other high-end grocery store had had a customer die eating a sample. I couldn’t think of the name of the store. And way back, further back, was the story I wasn’t going to tell of going into Pavilions on Montana in Santa Monica and accidentally walking out with a package of cheese without paying for it; how I’d discovered this fact and gone back in and paid; how it had been early in the morning and that is perhaps why no one had noticed.
How I had been in Santa Monica to do the stairs, after I’d finally found out where the stairs were, how for a long time I was convinced they were on the beach and had walked up and down Pacific looking for them; how I’d feared this walking out with the cheese was the first sign of age and dementia.
And, speaking of pie, I certainly didn’t tell him that after seeing the guy get two apple pies and a coffee with six sugars at McDonald’s I had thought of living on McDonald’s apple pie. That, far from being a person who could appreciate sushi, I could appreciate nothing more sophisticated than McDonald’s apple pie.
Now didn’t I expect him to ask for directions to Urth and walk over there in hopes of being offered a pumpkin pie sample?