The sunset was crazy. So red and the sun so incredibly bright. On fire.. like a camp fire sliding down the wall of the sky.
I don't remember what time it was. I'd been off work for hours and I wasn't hungry so it really didn't matter for some reason. Running errands. Trying to go unnoticed. Trying to ignore the glances. Strange how much the tiny heels on these sandals actually cause the legs to wobble. I was waiting in line. Watching the familiar tapping of the palm on the scalp of the customer being served. Girl's got weave. If you didn't know, well, now you know. I miss my long hair. I say that at least twice a day. I wonder if my coworker is right, and I can actually get extensions that look awesome? I'm too low maintenance. I wonder if it would make me feel like a million bucks, though. Like a few inches of hair would make me feel a bit more like myself or something. Silly things girls think. All the conversations were mumbles and hums. I kept catching clips and phrases, something about being able to count, something about switching to self check-out lanes, and employees searching for elusive cigarette brands. Drawers opening and closing. The shelves did look a little barren, this evening. I don't smoke, but I kind of thought about it for the first time. I mean, other than those cloves way back. You know what I mean. I wondered if it would actually take the edge off. I wasn't really going to buy them, though.
So, it was my turn, then. I felt awkward answering the question "How can I help you?" I wanted to use as little words as possible. I don't remember saying anything, actually. If I did, maybe three words. I stood there just watching the wall of Marlboros and it took a moment to realize my vision was blurred and that I'd been staring at the same carton of marlboro reds for at least 30 seconds. A long time, when you're standing on your own, processing. I don't even know what I was feeling, other than weightlessness. Just floating. Half there. Completely sober. Feeling absolutely stoned. Noticing another box on another shelf. What is the rhyme and reason to the stocking here? Back and forth. I wondered if I thought hard enough, if I might see something appear. I could've sworn I saw a shadow out of the corner of my eye. I considered getting food, at this point, but I couldn't fathom anything tasting remotely nice. I didn't notice anyone standing behind me, well except for this woman who was fascinated by the payment fees posted on the desk. She stood next to me and I felt incredibly uncomfortable. I was suddenly aware of space and my personal space being filled up with a stranger. I glanced and saw some men passing, and felt their looks passing, and I didn't want to be alone anymore in the grocery store. Great. This is going to be cake. I felt the dull ache in my chest. Thanks for the reminder. I noticed the girl, working… her facial piercing and faint shadow of a mustache on the upper lip. Or was it just a shadow? Am I drawing mustaches on faces in my mind? That's just weird. Maybe I'm about to go crazy. Like the sunset… just combust into flames like a campfire sliding down the wall of the sky.