I’m in line at the grocery store, its the 20 Items or Less lane that makes me wonder “Didn’t there used to be a 10 Items or Less lane?”. And I mean, there probably still is one but I’ve just gotten so used to the self-service lanes that I wouldn’t really know.
Anyways, I’m committed now since I have people in front of me and more importantly, behind me. What’s more, I’m giving myself away because there I am, counting items. As if anybody gives a flip whether I’m over the legal limit in this instance. Because it’s not egregious looking, my shopping cart. It’s ballpark fine and yet I go on counting, which feels like such a quaint gesture in this day and age now that I’m thinking about it. As I’m counting it occurs to me that management didn’t make the rules for carts like mine. They made them for the shoppers who look like they just spent an afternoon in Costco.
Me? I’m working a plus/minus situation that would require a recount if this were an election, but still I count. And when the counting’s done, I’m exactly one item over. It’s the bag of sourdough pretzels I picked up when I was cruising the Lays million and one flavors of potato chips. Going with pretzels instead was a sensible choice, and for my bonus points, I don’t have any nacho cheese at home to dip the pretzels in; which would’ve effectively defeated the sensible choice I was making.
Of course, I’m not moving out of line over one item. But it feels good to get lost in a meaningless intrigue, what with all the shit that’s happening in the world. Letting my brain get stuck on something that doesn’t mean a fig in the grand scheme of things, it helps to soften the edges and I like the feeling. A lot. And then I look back and see that the girl in back of me is carrying a basket. I’m guessing she’s got no more than five or six items in it, so I tell her to cut ahead of me. She’s thankful, but so am I. More so, in fact. Because the simple things feel like a winning hand from right here. And six feet apart is where it’s at inside this simple moment. It’s the whole world. And I don’t have to wonder where all the kindness and good feelings ran away to.
They never left.