I'm an intense, hyperactive woman with an imagination in overdrive who loves her Husby, her two Wonder Wieners, and her emerging career as an author and photographer.

Monday, May 29

Day in the Life

Emily* was trapped in an emotional tar pit. She'd thrashed about in it all day, her anger a seething glop, bubbles of self-pity welling, then popping in gaseous sighs. She'd spent the stop-and-go drive across the bridge in agony, praying her back flat would hold the 50 cents aired into it that morning. Her arrival into the Land of Lexus made her nauseous. Once again, her pathological need to please had betrayed her. She'd agreed to sub at the new food coop in the suburbs. When that gesture was not enough to appease the greedy ingratiating monster dwelling within, she'd offered to work an extra hour early. Offered! This placed her commute in sync with the enemy, the droids who toiled for the software masters of the universe, the very empire she'd narrowly escaped a few years ago. She wasn't afraid to be a rebel among them, rather defiant and proud, but she hadn't been prepared for the bile of bitter memories that welled up while traveling through the domain of her former captivity.

Emily's pity party was spoiled by crashers, strange unfortunates among the entitled: the boy with the melted face, the man with one arm, the rotten teeth dwellers in the trailer park across the street from the coop, caddy corner to the arbitrarily fenced wetland. From one of these mobile dwellings, a man with an impossibly wrinkled face crept up behind her as she shoved the last bag of wilted beet greens into the Cram-A-Lot industrial garbage compactor.

"Got Kraft?" he asked.

She extrapolated quickly. "You mean, like, macaroni and cheese?"

"Yeah," he replied. "Gotta feed the grandkids."

"No," she tried to explain. "This is a health food store, mostly organic. We do have similar brands I can show you." She lead him through the isles of gleaming boxes, cans, and jars. "We have bunny pasta, which is the organic equivalent." Organic equivalent? "It's on sale, too, for only 89 cents a box." She wrongly assumed price was the most important factor. He reached for the box that looked closest to what he recognized, although double the price of peace pasta.

"Makes the same way?" he asked.

"Yup, same way."

"I'll try it." He looked dubious. "You know," he said, "You oughta carry both. It'd be a lot better if I didn't have to fight traffic to the store. Everybody thinks them software people is good for us, but I say they're nothing but misery. I lived her since I could shoot sparrows from my front porch, now it's nothing but fancy people's cars. Can't shoot them."

The richness of what the old man had said carried her through the rest of the work day. As she played her own version of Tetris with each bag of groceries, she daydreamed of picking off software barons in an arcade game, filling their heads with water until they burst.

At the end of her shift, Emily's pain was salved with a complimentary bouquet of flowers and free brie. A camphor and eucalyptus bath washed away the evening's even worse traffic. As the day gratefully faded from her short-term memory banks, she made a promise to herself. Next time, she'll give it an extra second's thought before saying yes.

*Name has been changed to protect the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home