So This Is a Whole Foods...

by Mark Wynn

James had recently accepted an offer from a friend in Chicago who offered him work for the summer. He thought it sounded like a good offer because James had been living in a small town for awhile and all the diversity and options in a big city appealed to him. So in May he moved into a warehouse his friend had offered to him as part of the employment deal.

It started out as a really hot humid summer in Chicago and on his days off James would wander across the alley to the Whole Foods Market and relax in the cafe with a book and cup of coffee. This continued into August with James visiting the cafe 3 or 4 times a week in the mornings when the warehouse would warm up a little too much.

He had over this period made a few awkward attempts at conversations with a couple employees behind the bar, but got the feeling conversations weren't appreciated as much as he thought so he stopped acknowledging the few people he did see the most often.

Being new to a Whole Foods, James immediately noticed as anyone would from a small town, that Whole Foods seems to hire a lot of people with alternative takes on life. Lesbians they were once called. James found this pretty cool cause he was always open to diversity and in fact found people's differences very interesting.

While James got a feeling that a few of the alternative employees seemed to not appreciate his couple awkward attempts at conversations over the months, a few seemed genuinely happy to say hi. A couple employees in particular he enjoyed seeing because of the large smile they always greeted him with.

One day while entering the store he noticed a very pretty security guard standing near the sliding doors. He thought to himself how adorable that girl is in her ill fitting uniform and her radiant gray eyes. The first time James said "Hello" she barely acknowledged him so he chalked it up to a swing and a miss. But soon she obviously recognized him more and more over the weeks and she became one of the people he appreciated seeing because of this.

He noticed over the weeks that more than any of the others at the Whole Foods she made an effort to say "Hello" and "Goodbye" when he was coming and going. A couple times he noticed she almost went out of her way to get his attention when he would be absent mindedly walking out the door.

Later as the thrill of working and sitting at Whole Foods was getting a little boring he started to look for things to do. Chicago has an incredible art museum so he decided he had to plan a trip there. An even better idea came to him one day of asking the cute security guard if she would be interested in going with him.

So a week or two went by and the opportunity didn't really present itself. One day though James was off work and went in for his usual morning routine and as he went in he saw the cute security guard and said "Good morning" which she returned. He got his cup and was sitting by the wine and cheese bar and spied the security guard coming his way on her usual walk through. So he said to himself get some nerve up you lightweight and ask this girl to the art museum. What's the worst that could happen? So as she approached he looked up to her smiling at him as she said hi again. He said hi also and as she was passing he said "Hold on a sec, I wanted to talk to you for a moment."

As she stepped up to the table he was at, he asked, " So what's your name?" At which she awkwardly smiled and said, "Security D" as she said that both of them laughed a little and James answered, " well, OK, I'm James." She smiled and said, "Hi". James got to the point, asked her if she would be interested in going to the art museum with him and walking around. She repeated what he said still smiling and as she did this James said, "Basically what we are doing here but with art around us." As she repeated his question a wave of understanding clearly swept across her face as she realized she was being asked out. James thought this feels about right as Security D smiled again and said, " yeah probably."

Needless to say James felt pretty good about the day as he went back to the warehouse with the potential of a future social engagement with this lovely person. He even told an employee later he had mentioned the security guard to once and they high-fived.

The next day when James woke up he was troubled. He had had a very long dream about his dog having a severely compounded fracture on the leg and in the dream he had a wife who was telling him to get the dog out of the house. To make the story short, he put the dog out with this extreme compound fracture and it immediately disappeared. So the dream continued with him frantically searching for the dog and feeling very guilty about putting the broken creature outside. Even at one point crying in the dream. So from this he woke up in a cloud. He could sense that his being felt shrouded in a funk from that dream.

So he got up and got ready and grabbed his phone and headed across the alley for a cup of coffee. He was hesitant to cross paths with Security D so soon just from fear he would do something corny and make her second guess herself but he thought to himself just be cool and just breeze in. When he walked in though he noticed the different security person standing at the door. He thought to himself, "That must be Security C."

So he got his cup and headed over to the Wine and Cheese bar to take a seat and browse threw Facebook and see what's happened overnight. About 5 minutes after sitting down the other security guard steps up to the table along with what was to be the manager. The manager starts a spiel that could only be a segue to an unpleasant situation. So as James listened he said, "Cut to the chase man, what's up?" That's when the guy got to the point. He said, "Some of my associates are uncomfortable with your prolonged presence."

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