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Catherine Benton submission published in New York Times
The Price of Grapes
I was walking home from a yoga class on the Upper West Side. I stopped at a sidewalk fruit cart to buy a bunch of grapes.
Instead of the fruit seller who was usually there, a man holding two bananas seemed to be minding the cart.
I asked him the price of grapes.
“That’s my taxi,” he said. “I’m here to buy fruit like you, and fast before I get a ticket.”
Looking around for someone to take our money, I suggested that the fruit seller might be in Chipotle buying lunch.
The taxi driver checked there while I stood by the fruit.
“Maybe we could leave the money for our purchases under the cherries?” I suggested.
By now, several other people had stopped and were picking out oranges and mangoes. The taxi driver and I looked at each other.
“I’ll bag the fruit,” he said. “You collect the money.”
A few minutes later, the fruit seller emerged from a nearby store and I handed her the money. She smiled and thanked us.
After paying for his bananas, the taxi driver turned and gave me a high five.
“Nice working with you,” he said.
— Catherine Benton
Click here to view the “Metropolitan Diary” column.