How am I not myself?

By Jon Hillenbrand In Poetry


I am an impostor standing alone secretly regarding the twenty-five kinds of gourmet waters available for purchase at prices similar to the wine. Ironically the granola-lined asphalt of the parking lot welcomed in my turbocharged Subaru with the ultra high performance tires, three inch exhaust and carbon fiber wing as much as it invited in the naturally-aspirated Subaru wagons with bike racks, baby seats and hybrid envy. Green is still green, and the green to be made taking advantage of the green-craze is pretty significant. Whole Foods, or Whole Paycheck as a friend of mine calls it, seems poised to lift up into orbit with the amount of green ego powering the cash registers, espresso machine, and self-serve imported potato salad accent lights.

And then there’s me, standing here with my leather belt and wasteful ways like a baby-seal-clubber on a Greenpeace-liveried Boston Whaler. I fit in because I like the utility of cargo pants. But if you look closely, I’m an amateur purchasing the vacu-sealed ten slices of smoked ham at seven dollars a package. It’s barely enough for two sandwiches. And though when I get home, it does taste good, it goes too quickly. Maybe I’ll return to the Jewel and purchase double the amount of food for the same sixty dollars and just deal with the harsh fluorescents, intrusive cell phone conversations and gauntlet of homeless beggars that line the walkways to the entrance. Whole Foods is a library. The Jewel is a cheap car wash.

But I am not there yet for I am standing before this display case of clear liquid, French, Fiji, Artesian, replenishing, caffeinating, restoring water, the most common element on the planet, at five dollars a shot, laughing at the irony of the MPG rating of the technologically sophisticated hybrid car being lower than the more-efficient cheaper simpler gas car, it’s owner filling his nemesis land fills with New York and Paris-designed perfume-esque water bottles, and laughing at myself spending an hour here collecting strange new products for one decent home cooked meal that I won’t mooch.

What do you think?