Prism of grocery store clerk impressions

The song Lunatic Fringe comes on overhead and the checker, who’s deep in her 50s, looks up and disappears for a moment to another time, smiles a secret smile to herself and goes off to another place, all her own.

And there’s a kid with Down’s Syndrome who’s cleaning the glass down the freezer aisle, rolling his mouth to keep his glasses from slipping off the tip of his nose.

And I write it down while I’m standing here at the checkout because I know I will lose it and pretend it’s just a list, and I’m just like the others who have to write things down, to remember.

He blows his nose and opens the tissue to examine it, as if he’s expecting something unexpected, but never finds it. He grows older each time he blows his nose, dying bit by bit, falling through the stem through the hour glass, blowing. It’s part of him he’s looking for, in the tissue.

I’ve lost track of which toothbrush is mine by the sink and stopped caring, there’s nothing much happened to either one of us, yet.

And there is the slow collapse of days and a sloughing off that’s always happening until one day, something changes and you realize.

That’s the feeling with the rhythm of the prism spinning, how it catches the light sometimes and throws rainbows on the wall, then fades.

There are the days you spring out of bed because you can’t sit still when it’s spring, and then one day those days just stop.

And there will always be a fall to follow, and a winter, thereafter.

And our daughter wears a bra before she has to because she cannot wait, and though she reads about the Greeks who fantasized about killing their parents in myths, it’s really a grown-up she wants to be, all of us do.

And so it happens for a period, you resemble the adult you’ve always fancied for yourself but you don’t act that way because you don’t know how, don’t really want to, and then upon realizing that’s lame, you actually become that person you feared you would be, and wish you could be the other one instead.

So the clerk goes back there for a moment to another time, brought on by the urgency of the guitar chords that cut across the tops of the grocery store aisles like lightning, like hands from the sky, hands of the gods, to lift her off and obliterate her and spread her remains through the coldness of space, to remember for a moment, then forget.


Categories: death

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. Yeah, man, that’s the way it is. My vacation ends in 10 hours.


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