To The Fruit Cart Guy On My Corner

by Alison Grambs
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Dear Mr. Fruit Cart Guy On My Corner:

fruitstand.jpgI do not know how old you are.
I do not know from what country you hail.  
I do not know whether you are married or single, straight or gay.
I do not know where you live.
I do not know if you have children.
I do not know whether you own a dog, or a cat, or a ferret.
I do not know where you get your fruit.
I do not know where you go when you need to pee.
I do not know if you use mousse or spray-on gel to get that Elvis-like wave in your hair.
I do not know what drives you to put blueberries on sale one day (2 cartons for $5) and strawberries on sale the next (2 cartons for $ 4)

Shit.

I do not even know your name.

But I do know this...

 

Dear Mr. Fruit Cart Guy On My Corner:

fruitstand.jpg I do not know how old you are.
I do not know from what country you hail.  
I do not know whether you are married or single, straight or gay.
I do not know where you live.
I do not know if you have children.
I do not know whether you own a dog, or a cat, or a ferret.
I do not know where you get your fruit.
I do not know where you go when you need to pee.
I do not know if you use mousse or spray-on gel to get that Elvis-like wave in your hair.
I do not know what drives you to put blueberries on sale one day (2 cartons for $5) and strawberries on sale the next (2 cartons for $ 4)

Shit.

I do not even know your name.

But I do know this:

I know you have quietly become part of my daily life.
I know you make sure I smile every morning when I leave for work.
I know you make sure I smile every night when I come home.
I know you never run out of anything – or if you do – you apologize profusely.
I know you are there for me through the hottest of days, and the coldest of nights.
I know you always pet my dog, even when he rudely lifts his leg on your milk crate.
I know you care that your strawberries are fresh.
I know you care that your avocados are ripe.
I know you never snap at my old bitty neighbors who poke at your produce and then don’t buy anything.
I know your shopping bags make great garbage bags for my kitchen waste basket.
I know you sometimes give me 5 bananas for $ 1 even though your sign says, “4 bananas for a $1”.
I know you’ve saved me embarrassment at many a dinner party when I ran out of lettuce for the salad, or mushrooms for the soup, or cantaloupe for the dessert.
I know you are a decent man because you always tell me I look pretty, even when I don’t.

No, Mr. Fruit Cart Guy On My Corner,  
I do not know how you came to choose my corner.
Or why you stay on my corner so faithfully.
(There are an awful lot of corners in this big city of ours.)

But I do know I’m real glad you’re there.

 

Alison is the author of "The Man Translator: Your Essential Guide to Manland" and "The Smart Girl's Guide To Getting Even", a couple of children's joke books and works at the Friars Club in New York City.

 

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