Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
It is a blessing to live across the street from a market with such lovely fruits and vegetables. They are a feast for the eyes. Plus, it’s handy since there is a lot of rain during this visit and I don’t travel with an umbrella. I don’t like to carry things, an umbrella counts as a thing, and I’m also a little bit afraid that I will poke someone in the face with it. Usually, I just put on a hat and speedwalk to my destinations. So I am glad for the market with its colorful fare just a few steps away.
I am loading up on whatever you call the small orange-like fruit that is easy to peel. These are from Izmir and I believe here they are called mandolinas. Maybe at home they are clementines or nectarines or mandarin oranges–or are those only in cans? Nonetheless, I put about six in a sack and notice an old man standing at my left elbow. He is wearing a plaid scarf and a driving cap. There’s a break in the rain so we can both loiter by the produce, and I shift a bit in case I am standing in his way. He looks at me without moving and I smile, try a “good day,” and lean even further to my right. I laugh a little, not sure what he may need. I ask how he is and say something about the rain, mostly to show him that he can proceed in Turkish if he’s patient.
He nods, “Did you see the apples?” He points them out for me.
I nod back, “Are they any good?” I expect a glowing recommendation and prepare a grateful Turkish reply.
Then he shrugs, “Not bad.” And with that mediocre review and a turn to the right, he shuffles away, leaving me unconvinced and overjoyed. It wasn’t advice, just chit-chat between a few market regulars. Just a break in the rain, just something to say.