Monday, August 30, 2010

The **** Beer Guy

As usual, I'm overdressed for Walmart, but as usual, I don't care.

I go straight to the back to start with the easy stuff. Water. Orange Juice. Biscuits. Yogurt.

He's standing there, at the end of the aisle, smiling at me.

I smile back, vaguely, then turn my attention back to the vast selection of sugarfree powdered drink mixes.

He speaks. "Dr! ... Dr.... um, I remember, wait...."

Zack smiles and helps the poor guy. "Her name is Dr. Melissa."

He nods his head, then shakes it again, as if my name was a ball rolling around in his head looking for a place to fall into, causing lights to go off like a pinball  machine.

"Dr. Salami!"

"I've been called worse," I answer, dropping four boxes of drink mix into the cart.

Now he has my full attention.

"And you don't remember ME..." He accuses.

I look him up and down for hints.

He isn't wearing a name tag, just the patch of the beer company he's delivering for.

"You're the beer man, how could I forget you?"

In the time it takes for him to look genuinely disappointed, I remember his name.

I also remember that he was the only student to ever steal money from me during class.Four classmates turned him in, and the entire thing was pretty ugly. It's been four or five semesters, so I've let it pass. I don't think he's graduated, so I don't ask.

Besides that, I'm already eying the cinnamon rolls.

 "I remember you. You're W****. And now you're W**** ,The Beer Guy."

He laughs. I laugh, and he turns away, back to the cooler, back to his life, back to delivering his beer.