Standing in front of the chocolate selection at the grocery store. This grocery store has two aisles only; it is not The Saddest
Grocery Store (where the check-out woman, always the same woman, was
walleyed and threw your things down again as she rang them up and
looked like when her shift was over she would likely kill herself if
she could get up the energy) but it is pretty damn sad, and it is also
the only grocery store between here and home and you have to buy some
token gifts. So you have decided you need to buy some chocolate and in
this store there is 1/3 of an aisle devoted to chocolate so you're
thinking: 10 people, 10 bars? or 10 boxes? you don't want to look cheap but at $3 a pop the tokens are adding up.
And this old man is standing next to you and also looking at the chocolate, and you do the thing where you shift a half step to the side to imply that you're allowing him space I mean you can't really open up much space when you're both looking at the same thing but this is elevator manners, right. And he says, "There's a lot of chocolate to choose from here!"
You're like an old man magnet you were saying just the other day and here is evidence. They like to flirt, they like to pinch you sometimes, it's a whole thing. You find them sweet as long as they don't breathe on you. Part of the thing is about staving off the moment when they realize you're foreign because then they get all flustered and it's so much for everybody. So you venture "yes" to the chocolate comment cause that seems safe.
He says, "With such a selection-- I'm sorry, do you mind listening to the ramblings of an old man for a moment?" and so you swing around the eyes. He's wearing the intellect's beret and surprisingly smells pretty okay, which since you've cut back on smoking everything smells like it has a foot in the grave so this is altogether good, worth a smile at least which your smiles are worth more than the stock market these days.
And he goes into chocolate and varieties and the chocolate of his childhood and basically the plot turns on his desire for a real hot chocolate, a hot chocolate like from Holland, like from his childhood. If you had any idea what he was talking about you would bring him home and make it for him, but you don't and so you're smiling watts and looking helpless. And he says thank you for listening to him and you grab 10 bars and go and pay.