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Tonight should be interesting indeed.

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“What can I do… my dear… to catch… your ear?”

I sing softly to myself as I examine the produce.  I pick up a plum, turning it over in my hand, giving it a gentle squeeze, testing its give.  Nice and firm, no blemishes.  I drop it into my bag.

“I love you madly, madly, madam librarian, Marian…”

Another plum, and another.

“Heaven help us if the li-berry caught on fire, and the volunteer hose brigademen had to whisper the news to Maaaaaaaaaaaarian…”

I grab a hand of bananas and move on to the tomatoes.

“Madam libraaaaaaaaaaarian…”

I test the romas as I had the plums.  Gentle squeeze, a brief examination of the skin.  I put one back and try another.

“What can I say… my dear… to make… it clear… I need you badly, badly, madam librarian, Marian…”

Suddenly a voice across from me, a light, melodic sound, “If I stumbled, and I busted my whatchamacallit, I could lie on your floor unnoticed, ’til my body had turned to caaaaaaaaaa…”

“…rrion,” I finish for her.  I grin across the mound of produce to the source of my sudden duet.  She has a cute face, thin-framed glasses, and a charming smile.  Her short mousey brown hair is held back with small clips around the crown of her head, and she wears a blue with floral print summer sundress.  She’s short and slightly chubby, but still pretty in a very natural, “real women have curves” kind of way.

“Don’t know many guys who know The Music Man,” she remarks with a playful flash of remarkably straight pearly whites.

“Are you kidding?” I say as I pluck up another roma tomato.  “Robert Preston was a real man’s man, and Harold Hill was a straight smooth-talker.  I can’t imagine a better role model for today’s men.”

She laughs brightly.  “How about someone who wasn’t a pathological liar and womanizer?”

“Not a womanizer,” I say defensively, but playfully, “a salesman.  Professor Hill just knew what he wanted.  Besides, it worked out well for Marian the Librarian, didn’t it?”

“I suppose so.”  She laughs again, pauses (nervously, I think), and extends her hand over the tomatoes.  “Candice.”

“Charmed,” I answer with a smile of my own.  I give her hand a squeeze as gentle as that I use on the produce.

I continue along the aisle, and she keeps pace with me, looking at the various vegetables in passing.  “So what brings you to the ol’ produce aisle, Candice?”

“Well, given the context, I’d say I’m out of vegetables.”

“Ooh, sarcasm,” I say lightly as we step alongside each other.  “A lost art if there ever was one.”

She grins and shrugs, dropping her hands to hold them at her waist.  A passive pose that evokes images of innocence, a sweet girl standing outside the church on a Sunday afternoon, clutching her handbag.  “Yeah, sorry, it’s the go-to response for me.”

“Understandable,” I answer reassuringly.  “You never know what kind of sleazy people you’re going to meet in the produce aisle.  Sarcasm helps weed out the jerks.”

Another laugh, and Candice turns to approach the next aisle.  I fall into step beside her.

“Are you insinuating that you’re not a jerk?” she asks as she plucks various colors and shapes from the pile.

“Why would I do that?” I say.

Candice is quite for a moment as she looks at me, looking slightly confused.  I simply smile as we look at each other.  The confusion gives way to another charming smile, and she laughs.  No, she giggles.  It’s adorable.

“Well, if I didn’t know any better,” she says tentatively, “I’d say you were hitting on me.”

“Perhaps, but I’m not sure yet,” I answer as I fish my cell phone out of my pocket.  I hold it out to her.  “Tell you what.  Give me your phone number, let’s grab a few drinks tonight, and we’ll see if I’m hitting on you or not.”

Candice looks at my phone, her raised eyebrows indicating her surprise.  She looks back to my eyes and laughs.  “My, you’re certainly direct, aren’t you?”

“Only sometimes.”  I smile and continue to hold my phone out.

Candice smirks and narrows one eye as she examines me.  Then she carefully takes my phone, taps a few times on the screen, and puts it back to sleep.  She passes it back to me.  “I have an appointment at 6:00, so pick me up at 8:00 outside the mall.”

“I’ll see you then,” I answer.  Candice smiles one last time, turns quickly, her dress flourishing around her calves, and paces away.

I look at what she typed into my phone:

Candice, a.k.a.
Marian the Librarian

555-245-5886
See you at eight, Professor Hill.

I pocket my phone and briefly watch her walk away.  Candice looks back at me before she rounds the corner and disappears.

I turn back to the produce, hefting a few potatoes and giving them the once-over, singing to myself, “But when I try… in here… to tell… you dear… I love you madly, madly, madam librarian, Marian…”

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10 Comments

  1. I enjoy your stories all together too much!
    Oh the fun of experiencing someone like you~

  2. Devastatingly smooth. Crazy how well the direct approach works.

  3. Can’t wait to hear about this one!

  4. Unbelievable, Bi. Will you PLEASE come to my local supermarket next?

    Patiently waiting…
    xx
    Hy

  5. I’m skittish around strangers, but I read this and wonder if this would’ve worked on me. Very smooth. And now I want to know what happened.

  6. This is a very sexy post, I like how it confuses me, I like the lyrics but I don’t know the song. Oh I feel weak this a.m.

  7. I love when these little movie-like scenes play out in real life! This is a great story that left a smile on my face. 🙂

  8. i once was in the produce aisle and knocked over an entire apple display. didn’t meet a lot of guys that day. actually, i tried to pick them up and the produce guy told me to leave. ah, ralphs.

  9. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to read your stuff. As always it’s wonderful and charming. Thank you for sharing Bi.


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