Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Man in the Hat

Our friend Karen has arrived from Seattle. We've just gone to the green grocer, which reminded me of the first one we met in Ireland.

On our way to Kilkenny, we stopped to buy food at a shop in Durrow. The grocer, a tall man in a butcher’s apron, ran around cheerfully and found what we needed: fresh butter and eggs, orange juice and tonic, a bottle opener, Irish cheddar, apples and a lemon. He put it all in a box for us to take away.

“That carton's the perfect size,” I said. He gave me a wink. “Good packer,” he declared with a hint of pride. A boy came up with a bottle of milk and gave the grocer his money.

Just then a small, elderly gent walked in and stood at the doorway. He was dressed in a tweed suit, plaid vest, tie and hat, with a cane hooked over one arm. The man looked around and smiled delightedly, hands clasped in front of his chest, enjoying all the action. I smiled in return, then turned to pay as Ron carried out our groceries.

Driving through Durrow again several weeks later, we passed the same shop. The grocer and his dapper friend, dressed just as before, were standing on the sidewalk watching the world go by. I pictured the old man dressing up each morning and ambling over to keep his friend company and get the latest scoop – such as a couple of foreigners with a boxful of groceries that once had been the highlight of his day.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home