Wednesday, April 16, 2008
All My Grocery Shopping
Part two of the story -- thanks for reading!
After I finished grading, I bought a bag of animal crackers for dinner and thought about my options. I needed to go to the store because even though I could do without food, I would need Coke to get through the inevitable next-morning hangover. That being the case, I decided to do all my grocery shopping, such as it is. I packed up my satchel and walked out to my car, noticing how the wind made everything dramatic and fraught with possibility, the way the first drink of the night makes life seem mystical, no matter how mundane it really is.
Pulling into the Kroger parking lot, a wave of exhaustion overcame me, and I wished that I didn't have to get out of the car, find a cart, go through the store, pay the bill, and unload everything when I got home. As I wrestled a cart away from the other carts, I wondered how many moments I spent dreading the next thing I had to do, and if that's what constituted life. I could see myself in twenty years, remembering this parking lot with happiness, the way the evening gave off an autumnal glow, imagining this as one of my better moments, young and free with my health intact.
A banner trumpeted "Halloween Savings." The prices weren't any lower. The old price tags had been replaced with slightly higher ones and then slashed to the same price as before, making you believe you were saving something valuable if you weren't paying attention. As I pushed my cart through the crowded aisles trying not to run anyone over, I saw women with their baskets full of milk and bread, women who picked out food instead of frozen dinners, and I imagined a life of abundance and grace. I couldn't help but pine for an existence in which I didn't spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about every morsel of food I put in my mouth and what it might do to increase my thighs.
I walked the aisles, not knowing exactly what I needed. Alone, I couldn't imagine what to do, so I got my Cokes, went to the frozen food section, threw a few Healthy Choices in the cart for later, and dragged everything to the U-Scan so I wouldn't have to deal with a real person, just the electronic scanner telling me what each item cost.
After unloading the sacks into my trunk, I thought about leaving the cart in the lot instead of dragging it all the way back to its designated place. Even giving it a shove and setting it free. Then I thought about the person who would have to retrieve all the carts, how I would be sinning against someone, a sad person who had to work late into the night because others couldn't do their part. So I didn't, even though I was tempted.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I loved being outside. We'd hold lightning bugs in our fingers and pretend they were diamond rings." Loretta Lynn (This one is for Charles and Lana because of their beautiful love affair and the great pictures that Lana takes of the gorgeous nature around the place they live.)
Drinking music suggestion: Okay, this is a hint to all menfolk, via my old buddy Hank: If you start to hear the Erykah Badu records come out on continous rotation, run. Your relationship is in dire trouble and the drinks and the girlfriend rant (customary sharing of all your faults (and I mean all of them with lots of embellishments) with their girlfriends are soon to follow). Beware!
Benedictions and Maledictions