Habit. Reassuring, calming, steadying.
Or myopic and insular.
Fifteen years I have been walking past this place. Fifteen years.
Today I walked in.
But not before an actual confrontation with myself on the sidewalk, on Canal Street, in a freezing wind. I walked past. Stopped. Turned around, looked at the ducks. Thought, I would like a duck, yes I would. Walked on again. Stopped. It's probably a restaurant. They won't sell me a duck. Walked back, anyway, looked in again. Walked on. Braked for a third time, swore at myself, turned around and went in.
It's fabulous supermarket!
I bought my duck (it was the one all the way over on the left). I ogled the pig.
I shopped. I bought the black beans I haven't seen anywhere else in ten years: Golden Lion Dried Black Beans. Fermented and salty.$1.75 for a small vat.
Organic sunflower seeds. Bought those for the cardinals. Maybe we'll eat some too.
There was a whole other floor, downstairs, but I was running late and still had to pick up roast pork buns at Mei Li Wah, on Bayard Street.
Then the duck, the warm pork buns and I rode the A train home.
At home, I spread the chopped up duck pieces on a baking sheet and slid them into a very hot oven for a few minutes. Juices ran, and I poured those off into a saucepan and reduced them a little, pouring them into a jug (my great grandmother Mary's). I made a superfluous dipping sauce. We ate the duck with lettuce leaves, and surprisingly appropriate M'Hamsa - Tunisian couscous, into which I stirred some spoonfuls of those powerful little black beans, and a handful of chopped scallions.