I admit it. I saw the man grab the frozen french bread pizzas and I kind of wondered what he was doing. I know it was none of my business, but I’d be lying to say I didn’t have a fleeting thought about it.
You see, the man who was grocery shopping at that early hour was one of our town’s known homeless. I see him frequently as I pass through my days and our paths cross on a pretty regular basis. It’s not that I’d never seen him in ALDI before– it’s just that I usually see him buying more shelf-stable type things. Things that don’t require a bunch of heating.
Anyway, I really didn’t spend much time worrying about it and I went about my business.
I wound up behind him in line.
I watched as the young male cashier greeted him as he started ringing…
“Hey, Jack! Been waiting for you. What kind of pizza we having today? . . . Meat lovers, eh? Sweet. Sounds great. Lemme grab a five and I’ll get you all set, okay?”
“Nah, Robert. Not this time. I got this.”
“Jack, you know it’s all good. I think it’s my turn.”
(chuckling hoarsely) “Robert, you’ve said it was your turn the last four times. I got this. A guy gave me a few bucks for helping him change a tire on Tuesday and I’ve managed to hold on to most of it just for this. I got it.”
“All right, Jack, all right. Thanks. You’re a good man. Good man.”
Jack smiled, then paid for his small purchases.
Robert set the pizza box aside and pointed a finger at Jack, “Okay, then. I’ll see you at 11:30, okay? 11:30. That’s when I’ll be looking for you. I’ll toss this sucker in the toaster oven about 11:15. Can you keep track of that or do you need to take my watch with you?” (unstrapping the band)
“Nah, nah, that’s okay, Robert. I’m goin’ to the library. They got lotsa clocks there. I’ll keep track.”
“Okay. I’ll see you at 11:30. Don’t stand me up now, Jack, you hear? I’ve got two cokes with our names on ‘em and I want to hear all about your week.”
(grinning broadly) “You got it, Rob, you got it.”