I’m loading cherries into the clear plastic bag. The rain is coming down hard. The wind shakes the shutters. I half expect to see the apples sitting outside lift off and roll onto the cobblestones.
The lady on my right side is screaming “Brussels sprouts! We need brussels sprouts!” across the market to her partner as I continue loading up my bag. Her arms are waving frantically, and she has a notebook and pencil in her hand. Her is hair is pulled over to the side, she looks rushed and stressed. “Brussels sprouts! Steve, don’t forget the brussels sprouts.”
I look out of the corner of my eye, in hopes that for me, and the rest of the people within ear shot, this man is getting the damn brussels sprouts. He’s not. He’s looking at asparagus. Somewhat amusingly, completely ignoring the screams.
The lady is now making hand gestures, as to illustrate what brussels sprouts look like. I hurriedly load more cherries into my bag, sensing if I hear the word one more time, I’m going to be somehow transported back to my parents kitchen table and forced to eat them. I shudder at the thought. It’s the one vegetable I hate.
As I grab the twist tie and wrap up my cherries I see the lady pick up an orange from the pile of fruit next to her. My eyes widen. She’s totally going to chuck it at him. I’m going to witness produce meltdown and I’m right in the cross fire. I feel as though I should warn him its coming, but it’s happening too fast. I simply step back and watch it unfold.
The orange flies through the air, hitting him in the shoulder. He looks up. The orange bounces on the concrete floor. He’s not really shocked an orange just flew across the room to awaken him from his fuzzy state. She yells, “Will you get the fucking brussels sprouts!”
He turns around to face her, lifting up his left hand, which is holding a bag of fucking brussels sprouts, and shakes his head.
I bite my lip to keep from laughing and go up and pay for my cherries.
Fucking brussels sprouts. Always causing grief.