A black ’Lamborghini Aventador eases smoothly into a parking space, and Oge steps out. He spits out a toothpick and grinds it under his heel; Oge does not need to smoke. He smiles. It is raining, and yet the rain does not seem to touch him as he walks through the lot.
Oge is the coolest black guy around and he is shopping for groceries.
Striding manfully into the produce section, Oge picks up a basket and sets to work selecting vegetables. A man of his talents has prodigious need of food, and besides, he’s entertaining guests tonight. Oge never shops hungry, though, because he is sensible.
Sensible and sleek, like the car he maintains so faithfully. It is impressive, spacious, and makes him think of pirates, which Oge has always found appealing.
A young woman finds herself staring at Oge as he passes her and she accidentally rams her cart into a case of fruit. A pyramid of cantaloupes collapses and a single fat fruit begins to roll down the side of the pile. Collision with the floor would mean certain splatting for the fruit, and the woman scarcely has time to shriek before Oge is there, ducking down and smoothly cradling the cantaloupe before it hits. He gracefully places the cantaloupe on top of the pile and it returns to stability. He smiles at the woman and nods very slightly, and then walks off towards the potatoes. “Wow,” she breathes.
The first course will have to be a leek and potato soup, Oge decides, with a hint of dill. He is impressing a lady tonight, but it will scarcely be a difficulty, he thinks. She is so into him. He is confident but not overmuch; this lady has been a particularly delightful challenge to woo. She has now consented, after a few dates, to have dinner with Oge at his apartment. When she comes over, he thinks, picking out a leek, he’ll have put on a Charles Mingus album, because Mingus is her favorite, too, and they’ll eat the chicken roulade he’s been intending to make for her. He takes a bag of spinach for the chicken.
Returning to the car with his purchases, Oge finds that someone has slipped a note under the windshield wiper of his car – it is still raining, but whoever left the note took the effort to put the note in a tiny plastic bag: “This car could only belong to the man who caught my cantaloupe. Call me,” and a number. Oge chuckles at the double-entendre, perhaps intentional, and puts the card in with his groceries. He may show it to his date tonight, he may not.
At home, Oge begins his preparations for dinner, so that he’ll have time to jam a little before his friend comes over. All of Oge’s knives are beautifully sharp, and he makes short work of everything – before he knows it, the leeks and onions are steadily sizzling away in a saucepan. The bird is trussed and ready for the oven, and the soup is simmering quietly now. Oge washes his hands of the kitchen and goes to practice in his studio. He flips a switch and hears, in his headset, a playback of a drum track he’d laid down the night before. He plugs in his electric bass and plays against the track in his ears, slowly building a bassline until it forms a polyrhythm with the drums. He begins to lose track of time as his playing grows more and more intense, a yellow wave cresting in the back of his head, growing larger, fatter, until finally it is a full-on symphony of funk. And then the doorbell rings.