Adults drink lemonade from plastic tumblers; a 15-year-old playwright gets drunk and disorderly on champagne cocktails; a barber and his son eat TV dinners in their coats; and an informer bearing grim news offers apple juice and a choice of tuna fish or peanut butter sandwiches.The three unlikely friends: Miss Cross, Mr. Blume, and Max have all been spending a lot of time together—attending school wrestling matches, museums, and aquariums—but one day Mr. Blume drops by Miss Cross’s house and they find themselves alone.
Miss Cross answers the door carrying a small plate with a few baby carrots: “I just got home and I'm having a little snack,” she says quietly, by way of explanation. “Having some carrots,” Blume observes, standing awkwardly on the porch. There’s a pause. They start to talk about the absent Max, but the conversation stalls. “You want a carrot?” Miss Cross asks.“Yeah. I'll have one of those,” says Mr. Blume and takes a tiny nibble, holding the carrot carefully to his mouth. And so it starts.