It’s just a trip to the grocery, I tell myself. The apartment is dim and small and not at all what I imagined, and yet, the little poem I have written in my head remains:
Little room, where light is space / Come inside my mind and know how to tear / This loneliness, this place of self…
(I insist that these non-rhymes are my instances of genius, so that I can feel good during my day job)
So this is what it feels, I fool myself. Independence has taken the form of shelves, perfectly aligned, with everything you could want in a consumerist symmetry, bedazzled and baffling, cans stacked, liquids bottled, animal parts frozen (oh, those red-painted salted eggs, they’re here, too; don’t let the concept of posh groceries fool you; it’s a marriage between wet market and class, come don’t say you didn’t think it)!
And because I felt so grown-up, I didn’t take a list with me, I reasoned, what for, when it’s all in my head!
At Cashier 25 he glared at me, because I rammed my cart into his heels, and rightly so, I apologize, turning my cart around and away from his cotton white shirt, that sculpted face with an ironic frown that well, I kind of loved from a three-office-cubicle-sized distance.
I always did forget the milk; and he was gone by the time I got back in line.
Oh well, I tell myself.
Really, I thought, putting away the plastic bags in my car, it’s all some kind of justice, some kind of fate, and really, it’s all a matter of well-placed coincidence.