For a Minute, I Was The Universe’s Tuning Fork


Maybe I got too much sun yesterday.


Maybe I slept in too late this morning.


Maybe I’m just losing my shit.


But whatever “it” was, “it” happened at 3:17 pm in the checkout line at the grocery store.


I was unloading my cart.  Staring at a bag of plums.  And I felt like I got punched in the gut. 


And I looked at the woman, one lane over, arguing with the cashier about the price of peaches.  And I was so mad for her.  Why were they labelled at 99 cents a pound if that price didn’t apply until tomorrow?  And then I was mad for the cashier.  It’s not like she put the price sign up.  But when I say mad, I don’t just mean I could relate, or I got where they were coming from.


I was fucking livid.  White hot, seething rage shooting out my eyeballs.


It just kept going.


The tension in the neck of the woman in front of me, willing the funds to be in her account as she nervously entered her PIN. 


The little girl, homely, smiling, waiting for her mother to see past the squalling baby in the cart, see how good this girl really was.


The ridiculous beauty of the curve of the checkout girl’s smooth forehead.




I wanted to hug them all.


I wanted to push them all away.  Hard.


In the end, it was Micheal Jackson’s kids who did it. 


Their little eyes stared at me, from the cover of a tabloid.  The disgust of seeing these kids in that setting.  The sorrow of knowing the world has 3 more orphans.  The disbelief that our world has become so small that I even know who these kids are.


I wanted to sit down and bawl, right there in aisle 3.


As it was, I dug my fingernails into my palm, grateful when I could just pay and get the hell out.


I rolled through the automatic doors, pushing them because they weren’t fast enough.


Sucked in two lungfuls of humid parking lot air.


By way of punctuation, the Snowbirds picked that moment to fly overhead.


Perfect formation.  Flawless.  Their roar cancelling out all other sounds. 


After they were gone, there was a lapse.  A couple of seconds when a busy parking lot was still.  A collective, unspoken, “Did you SEE that?” pinging around.


I was reset.  I felt normal again.


And all it took was getting buzzed by some CT-114s.




(Images from here and here.)


24 responses to “For a Minute, I Was The Universe’s Tuning Fork

  1. For me it’s a Valium and a glass of red wine.

    I’m too jaded to appreciate the other sort of buzz 😦

  2. michael.offworld


  3. That was an amazing post. I don’t know why, but that was beautiful and spoke to me.

  4. that was a beautiful post…seriously, i loved it.

    i’ve had a revelation. i now know why i’ve been so ‘on edge’ and about to scream lately…

    cuz i haven’t seen any goddamn CT 114’s flying overhead. i need a reset…at this point, i’ll settle for an F14, a low flying commercial plane, hell, a prop plane, a chopper…a goddamn formation of birds would be nice.

    i’m so busy right now, i’ve forgotten about birds!!!!

  5. hyper-emo-sensory overload? requires a display of military hardware to rectify? empathy gone wild?

    oh, honey, Oprah wants you on the show — but get the book written first….

    (there was beauty in this… hope you can see it… even though you were wondering WTF, didn’t you feel alive?)

  6. How do you manage to make a trip to the grocery store sound so exciting?

    I really like this one and relate to it a lot. Sometimes the environment surrounding me just makes me boil inside.

  7. I used to get the shakey-mads at people every day when I used to commute on public transport.

    When a train flies through the station at 80 miles an hour, no one notices you yelling.

  8. I’m going to have to go with michael.


  9. Can you send them my way? I feel like getting a reset of my own. No. No. On the other hand, I’m afraid they will be able to confirm my worst fear – that the people at the end of this beautiful country road are cooking meth.

  10. I’m glad you had the planes. I was totally expecting that to end with “And then I cried and punched a television and felt better after some cheese.” That’s how I usually deal.

  11. “After they were gone, there was a lapse. A couple of seconds when a busy parking lot was still. A collective, unspoken, “Did you SEE that?” pinging around.”

    A moment brilliantly captured, Ginny.

  12. It’s just funny, because HA! Me too.

  13. Great post overall but I related way too much to this:

    “The tension in the neck of the woman in front of me, willing the funds to be in her account as she nervously entered her PIN. ”

    That’s been (and I’m sure will be) me more times than I care to admit. Very well written capture of your emotional reset. Thank you.

  14. I get those moments of what I call hyperreality a lot. I’m not sure where they come from or what they mean. I’m not sure if they’re good or bad.

  15. My skin is tingling.

  16. Goosebumps.

  17. And see, I want to Stumble this, and I am at a loss for a category.

    I’m going to MAKE a category for hyperreality.

  18. I have moments when I feeled pulled out, seeing everything from outside, not feeling, just seeing, like watching a movie. It’s like what you experience but in reverse. You must have felt connected. I always feel distant when I return.

  19. I love your Snowbirds. LOVE! They make me want to be Canadian too.

  20. Love the title because, omg, a tuning fork describes that feeling perfectly.

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