Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pointless Vignette Day

He's there with clockwork predictability, no matter what time of the day you visit. He's there when you slip in at 9:25 on Saturday morning just as the big gates open, he's there when you stop by the Costco at 2:00 on your way home from work, and he's there at closing. He's the guy that sits alone at the Costco eatery with a pizza meal that plays understudy to breakfast, lunch, and dinner spread across the table in front of him.

Look to your left as you pass the geriatric bouncer and you'll spy him there, hunched over his meal. Once you've made your purchases and arrive in line behind the Vietnamese guy with the flatbed cart full of bottled water, you'll see him again. He's never that interested in the meal itself but it's always one of his props. He talks to no one and always faces away from the eatery, watching some invisible point beyond the warehouse at large, eyes unfocused and lost in thought. He may not be the same person every day, but he and his brethren always have the same habits.

Is the food really that good? Why would you come to Costco at 9:30 in the morning just to eat pizza? Is he just a worker on break? If so, where's his uniform? Maybe he hates shopping with his wife and finds less argument in waiting for her to browse than tagging along through the store. Or maybe he's staging a sit-in for some kind of Civil Rights movement, except he eats instead of hunger striking. He could just be people watching, but his eyes never really focus on anything tangible.

Who is this mysterious Costco Eatery Man?

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