A nice fellow approached the bike rack and immediately offered sympathy to my plight, which i appreciated mightily, as he could have easily rolled his eyes or acted put out having to step over my sprawl of red peppers and figs (oh god, but those figs were sooo good). We got in a conversation about all the things we had carried on our bikes. He told me of epic laundry days; i told him about the time i bought a stereo at a yard sale. I admitted that i was feeling demoralized because, given my former glory of being able to drag the most unlikely items around on my bike, it felt galling not to be able to manage a not-quite-full grocery bag. He empathized with me completely, and i suspect there are very few people that would, so i considered myself quite lucky in that moment.
I apparently succeeded at figuring it out, or at least i'd thought until i got just below the 6000 block (almost home). A guy in a car yelled at me pointing out that my sweater was coming undone from the rack. I stopped and proceeded to affix it in front of the Gethseme garden center. Just before i took off, the woman i'd been following the previous 20 blocks but who had turned off half a block before began chasing me. HEY, I HAVE YOUR EGGPLANT. She approached my with my purple nearly-forsaken-friend and I thanked her heartily. I thought to myself i really wanted to invite her over for caponata once i'd made it, but something stopped me, some streak of urban nervousness. After i thanked her, she said, "no problem, this is the best thing that happened to me today," It sounded kind of strange, but i imagine maybe she had a boring routine day and chasing after someone with a rogue eggplant injected some comic relief.
Yesterday i returned to the scene of the crime to buy some flower pots from the garden center. When i arrived there were some gorgeous and quite large rosemary topiary pots on super sale due to it being the end of the season. Two women were also eyeing and discussing these lovely specimens of kitchen landscaping. I mentioned i would love one but not sure i could fit the 4 foot high plants in 14 inch pots on my bike. They proceeded to convince me i needed one, "they'll probably dry up over the winter, but then you'll have $20 worth of rosemary to eat all fall, winter, and spring". One of them asked me where i lived and thought for a minute, "you could get it and if it doesn't fit on your bike, hell, i'll drive it home fore you." When i'd purchased my pots (having decided not to get the rosemary), and was unlocking my bike i saw them again, "did you get the plant?" they asked and i felt kind of said to say "no," especially since they seemed completly prepared to pull their car around and help me with transport. Again, some non-impulsive part of me was heavily in play this weekend.
After i got home I made the Caponata. It was really tasty, but it would have been tastier with a little fresh rosemary. I had a brief and minor moment of regret that i had not purchased the topiary, and that i had not invited my eggplant savior over to share my dish.
Though for next week: act on an impulse.