He stood quietly in the wine aisle of the local organic food coop watching the local not necessarily organic, but self-appointedly hip patrons do their late afternoon shopping.
Some moved with residual business office productivity. Even though their workday was through, clocks punched, files filed, duties done — they had yet to dial down their inner speedometers as they talked on iPhones and juggled their baskets.
Opposite these get-it-and-go folks, were those gliding along as if on some quaalude-induced vacation. They wheeled carts from one colorful display of goods to the next, fingering fresh produce and then bags of chips with equal fascination. Their purchasing was as influenced by pleasure as whomever they happened to chat with in bulk foods.
The third customer-type was paced and intentional; with their lists in hand and an occasional child in tow, they had a chore to do. Several full recyclable bags, a couple coupons and a bit of comparison pricing later, they would leave with thoughts of restocking the pantry and dinner prep.
This was his wine selection ritual. (1) Watch the coop anthropology parade. (2) Let it pass; close eyes and take deep deliberate breath. (3) Open eyes and select the nearest colorful bottle.
Tonight’s pick: Chile Pepper Red. Adorned with red and green peppers perfectly spooned together and long golden vines tangled artfully on its label which read, “A yin yang burst of earthy fire and spicy delight. Its long, lusty finish will inspire your tongue and flex your palate. Best pared with something that drips on your chin.”