Here are the people at Whole Foods right now part two:
By which I mean The Roof at Whole Foods, the casual restaurant on the roof of Whole Foods:
Downwardly mobile people of all stripes, that is who is here at Whole Foods tonight. At The Roof at Whole Foods tonight.
There is a vacationing French family that is trying to make this part of a Brooklyn experience. Two parents, two children. The boy is wearing one of those fedoras you buy on St. Marks that is made from the same material as zip-ties. Each member of the family has a small trough of french fries in front of them. (This is possibly funny?)
There are two native Brooklynites talking very loudly about how hilarious it is that there is a French family here, about how the boy is wearing a stupid hat. The man is built like a tetherball pole and is wearing a baggy tank top with wide-open arm holes. His cap is a certain shape that signifies something to other people who wear caps, but which, to non–cap-wearers, just reads as a cap. The woman is half cat, half snake. Very sneaky.
There are two very young people on a date. More fresh-faced than young, actually. They are probably in their late twenties but they have the newly-clear skin of high school seniors. The same searching dress sense, too. Will she be a pants girl, or a dress girl? Right now she’s a pants girl, but her lack of commitment is palpable.
They are the sort who get great pleasure out of organized activities. Spelling bee. Yearbook. LARPing. They are guileless and beautiful. And their skin! They have such healthy skin. A very plush sort of indoor skin. Damaged neither by the sun nor by a greasy diet. Rare.
There are four older people who have begun mixing drugstore clothing into their department store wardrobes. They know how things should fit, though, so it works out alright.
I can only spot these things because back in the early 2000s a catalogue called “Dr. Leonard’s” would show up unbeckoned at my apartment every month. I liked it. It rang all the same bells the SkyMall catalogue did, but its focus was very narrow. They focused on the real pain and imagined terrors of older people. You have foot diseases, and you fear prowlers. Your neck is always cold. You are seeking a frictionless catheter.
All four of them are facing the sunset, which is quite nice but not as nice as last night. Their conversation is very subdued. They are old, but not fuck-it old. Two of them in particular, two slightly sun-damaged ones, have mouths that are knurled at the corners, a forced smile wary of slipping into a frown. There are things they want to say to each other, but why ruin a nice sunset?
There are two work friends work-gossiping. Their tone is disconcertingly grave, less like they’re complaining about a co-worker, more like figuring out how to cover up a murder.
There is another date. A divorced and bloated man who had to take a phone call in the middle of the date about who-has-custody-when. Are divorces usually so typical as this? He is wearing a tight black t-shirt (the collar absolutely throttling his neck) and jeans that are explicitly *not* dad jeans. His date is a baby-voiced, midriff-baring hippie in a maxi skirt. Her hair is piled into a topknot. It is hippie-red. His hair is limp and wavy and shoulder-length and sandy blond. He looks like a British music producer. He has a cleft nose. This is a cartoon about divorce.
There is another date at another table bickering about the wage gap. He is laying out some problems with the numbers she has presented. He could probably stop doing that if he would pick up her hints to stop doing that.
The divorced man and his date just went for a high-five over something but wound up holding hands instead. It was awkward and cute.
The work gossipers are trying to figure out how to pay one another back for not only this outing, but for a hazy set of previous outings. They should probably just let time take care of it.
Everyone else is gone now, replaced at their tables by hunchbacks eating alone. The social hour is over.
Somehow this place is open for another two hours. It is nine o’clock and they’re open until eleven. There is room for hundreds and fewer than twenty are here. Wednesday is Trivia Night, which I cannot imagine.