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.