I don’t buy much at Whole Foods because it’s mad expensive, but I like to sit in the cafe. It’s clean, bright, and the walls are painted peaceful nature colors. On every table there is a clay pot with a real live orchid–way nicer than anywhere Brian took me when we were dating.

–from "The Whole Foods Effect"


Down in Mexico

Corey’s Mexican host family lived a few blocks from the university, on a narrow street lined with stucco walls and orange flowering Tabachín trees. Every day when he returned from class, he pressed the buzzer and waited for Mari Carmen, the maid, to come unlock the wrought iron gate, and followed her up the brick walk to the door. She walked without hurry, long black braid swinging between her shoulder blades. The house was bigger than Corey had expected, bigger than his parents’ back in Beloit


El Ingeniero stood at his office window, watching through binoculars as the big black plane touched down on runway B. Never, in all his years as Operations Manager, had an aircraft this size landed at the airport. Mostly they ran turbo props and Embraer jets back and forth to the capitol and the beach resorts. He’d spent the last two decades persuading airline executives, with the help of fifty dollar mescal bottles and private helicopter tours of pre Columbian ruins, that this provincial backwater

Under the Reservoir

Clara was drowning. She rode beside her granddaughter Alice in the wagon, but the water seeped in through the cracks in her mind, filling it slowly, like the reservoir behind them, lapping at the steps of the house her great-great-grandfather built of stone, so it would last forever, turning the rooms into aquariums, washing over the sills of the second story window where she’d passed the months of her confinements, gazing east across the tobacco fields to the trees changing color on Mount Lizzi

The Whole Foods Effect

I went to the grand opening of Whole Foods with my friend Denise, and Shannon, of course–I can’t get away from the kid long enough to pee. By the time we got there it was after 11, but we were still one of the first 1,000 shoppers so we each got a balloon and a free reusable shopping bag. The bags were yellow, with big green asparagus tips, like alien penises. Now everyone at the food pantry has one, stuffed with canned peas and other processed crap. Whole Foods took over the old Johnnie’s