It was time to go on another raid, and there were so many thing I left lacking, because I hate to shop, there really was no other choice but to go to Mal-Wart, or spend half a day shopping around. Mutt Treats, meds of allergies, washer detergent, food stuff, junk food stuff for the game, and a host of smaller things. Damn I hate the place, but it’s either that or hit three or four stores before the game.
Why Mal-Wart would be crowded on Super bowl Sunday is beyond me, but it was. I had my sunglasses on, my MP3 player rocking, and drive the shopping buggy like a man possessed. Get in, get what I got to get, get out; it’s a lot like married sex. That remark will come back to haunt me, wait and see, and it won’t take very long either. I started to edit it out, but this is supposed to be factual feelings here, right?
There were four kids fighting over who gets to push the buggy in the middle of an aisle and there were no adults in sight. Not that I blame their parents for deserting them at all. I like chewing gum, did you know that about me? I like a certain kind, and right there in front of where my gum was, a little old lady stood staring. Okay, go get stuff for Chili and come back. I push the buggy as fast as I normally walk. Most people surprised there is someone around with some sort of haste, step out of the way in confusion. What is this man doing? Why isn’t he dawdling around staring off into space? There are people who treat this store like it’s some sort of cheap plastic Disney World or something. I get stuff for chili and head back to get gum. There’s a pair of wheel chair people blocking the aisle so I take a hard turn and cut through…damn…it’s the women’s underwear department. I take another sharp turn and my buggy skids on a black thong. I’ll never be able to look at a woman in a black thong again without thinking of this incident. Well, that likely isn’t true either, nevermind.
The old woman is still camped out in front of the gum, so I go get mutt treats. I like the pet department because people buy stuff for their dogs and I like it when I see someone buying something really cool. There’s a guy getting a great big box of treats and he looks happy, and I wonder if his puppy is as happy as mine are. The woman is still guarding the gum, so I reach around her and this startles her. I almost, very nearly, ask her what she was thinking about, but really I have to get out of here.
Because it’s crowded I have to wait in line behind people buying useless stuff. The same could be said for chew toys because canines have survived quite well for a long time without them, but waiting in a crowded place makes me bitchy. Two people ahead of me an ancient woman is trying to unload her buggy but in her right hand she carries the Instrument Of Dread. In front of the buggy, an even older man is trying to get a twelve pack of sugar free no caffeine diet coke zero out from under the buggy. I should have helped him, this I know, and honestly I still feel bad about it, but I was fascinated on how he would try to pull it out from under the buggy, the buggy would move backwards towards the woman, and woman would push it forward again, and the man would have to back up. About the time I realized I was being a jerk for standing there and watching this, the cashier walked around and aimed the price gun at it and it was over. Yet Instrument Of Dread remained. The IOD is an inkpen. The woman was trying to write a check. She had gotten it all written out when the cashier explained to her the check needed to be scanned, not written upon, and the woman didn’t even have to sign it. The woman had done this before, but she likes doing it the old way. I wonder when I’m that age if I will cling to my credit card, refusing to use the newer methods, too.
The couple ahead of me were buying useless plastic house ware stuff that will break in a month. The two women to my right were buying two toilets seats. One of the women was a painfully thin young woman, maybe in her late twenties, and she was skeletal. I mean she looked like a death camp survivor. The woman with her kept touching her arm, and speaking to her as they waited, and the woman ahead of me touched the arm of the man with her, and it struck me as very personal, in both cases. I watched the two women, and either they were lesbians, or close friends, and I decided they were friends and the thin woman had just survived something weird. The couple ahead of me wore rings, so they were married, and suddenly it hit me; I was the only person in line, two people ahead of me, two to my right, who was alone.
I was buying mutts things, the guy ahead of me was buying pink February fourhteeth thing that the woman wanted, the old man and woman were buying the essentials and nothing else, except the cokes, their daily treat I imagine, and the two women buying toilets seats really needed them, I would think, but I was buying things for my furry family, not someone I was with, or going home for. I wonder in twenty years or thirty years if I’ll be at some store, alone, watching other people in line, maybe the children of people I’ve waited in back for before, and I wonder if these same thoughts will come to me, and I’ll be too foggy to remember them.
For reasons I cannot explain to you, I am incredibly and very poignantly reminded on this day that I am one of the few people I know who is totally alone.