Local Celebrity

Up until a few weeks ago I never thought twice about eating lunch in my car. I can’t claim I ever ate chicken wings on the go, but nearly anything else was fair game. It has never been an issue for me, I’m not exactly a messy person. Now though, with a new car, I pay too much attention. I have a bad feeling about it. I specifically try not to make a mess, which will of course inevitably result in me, making a mess. I just know it.

With the sudden decrease in temperature though also comes a decrease in my desire to actually get out of the car on these lunchtime excursions. Yesterday, for example, I was quite successful at precariously balancing a steaming hot container of Mighty cheese on my lap for 5 minutes while I ate those glorious chips.

Rectangles. So simple.

Today, I was feeling less risky and decided not to press my luck. Based on how frequently I get in trouble for eating in bed, I can only imagine that my significant other would not take kindly to nacho cheese on the driver’s seat.

So I geared up and made the short but blustery walk. Armed with a smile and a book, so as to not look like a complete loser, I moseyed my way around the celebrated prepared foods section of Wegmans. Heaven on earth for corporate America. It’s lunchtime, and it’s packed. If you’ve ever seen me try to negotiate a crowd, or cross a busy street for that matter, you know that I tend to get a little overwhelmed. There’s too much going on, too many decisions to make. I usually resort to following whoever I’m with. This was not an option today so I walked towards the sub shop, where I know myself best, and waited in line.

I noticed the man in front of me was very sharply dressed, which caused me to keep shyly trying to steal another glimpse. The more I looked though, the more I felt like I knew him, like we were old friends. Then, it hit me. Glenn Johnson. My weather man!

Minus the one year of downstate living he has been my go to source for weather news for, essentially, my entire life. There he was, standing right in front of me. Looking as unrealistic in person as he does on TV. I ordered my sub on auto pilot while trying to hide my goofy smile. Once I had that under control I started looking around to see if this local celebrity sighting was making other people as happy as it was making me. It wasn’t. Everyone, including my homeboy Glenn, was looking down at their phones. No one seemed to notice.

Think of what I would have missed today if I had decided to stay in the car. Or if I had been looking down at my phone like everyone else. It would’ve been like that time my sisters and I shared an elevator with Bruce Smith and didn’t know it until he exited. So close yet so far.

I tried to think of something to say to him, but my comfort zone refused to even entertain the idea. I’m not sure what I would’ve said anyway. I’m sure he’s sick of people talking to him about the weather. Especially this week.

Our food was ready at about the same time and I followed him at a safe non-stalker-ish distance to the checkout counter. I went through my normal routine of claiming a high-top table for myself, clearly the superior choice, and watched Glenn Johnson walk out the door.

I was still smiling, but no longer needed a book to distract myself from myself. I had just seen a local celebrity, and while it might be a little silly, I was pretty happy about it. I was happy to sit there in complete solitude, looking around for whatever might happen next, because I didn’t want to miss it.


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