Produce Pressure

An over-dramatic tale of a trip to the supermarket. 

I shut the car door and click lock on the center button.

“Beep,” the car shouts at me.

I can remember the days when a person had to physically put their key in the door to unlock it, now it’s buttons. I’ve heard of cars that allow you to open the trunk by swiping your foot below the bumper. Amazing how far the world has come. So many advances in so many areas of technology, but still I must drag myself to the super market. I’ve heard about the places that deliver your groceries, but I don’t have any kids and I don’t have some crippling handicap that prevents me from walking, so there’s no reason for it to be delivered other than the fact that I’m lazy. The world doesn’t need to know I’m lazy.

I walk through the parking lot, a massive block of solid black pavement that bubbles and stretches in the sun. My feet move swiftly below me, my grocery store walk.

My parking spot is over 500 feet away. I can never get any closer. It’s packed, always packed. I’ve gone on different days at different times, but there is never a lull in attendance. I go on Wednesdays because there are less elderly people on Wednesdays. I don’t have time to wait in line behind Mr. Crachety Cane man. No offense to the elderly, they’re adorable most of the time, but they have no place in the fast paced world of grocery shopping, especially in the express self-checkout line.

I look forward as the sun shines down on my face. My skin begins to burn. A slight line of light pink forms across my forehead above my sunglasses, and a rosy circle on each cheek, my market tan is reappearing. I hear the footsteps of others behind me. I see a line of carts in the cart stand to my left. I circle around the parking lot sometimes so I can park next to the cart stand. That’s prime supermarket real estate.

I’ve become adept at figuring out how many people are behind me just by the sound of footsteps. There are five, but there are only four carts in the stand. I narrow my eyes and focus on the prize.

I hear a pair of boots, they sound like Timberlands. I’d recognize the crunch those grooves make on pavement any day. My father swore on Timberlands. My left ear perks up, I hear a pair of orthopedic shoes with what sounds like a walker. Out of the corner of my eye I see the walker and the old woman attached to it. What’s she doing here on a Wednesday? She’s walking entirely too fast to need one of those. And why does she need a cart? How the hell is she going to push both the cart and the walker. She has a built in basket in her walker too. I do what I need to do and I make a sharp turn to cut in front of her. I don’t waste a second to look at her. If I look, my Catholic guilt will set in. I don’t have time for guilt.

My right ear rings with the sound of a stiletto. Who the hell wears stilettos to the super market? I’m wearing Uggs. They’re technically slippers. The backs are open so my bright orange monkey socks with the little balls on the heels are visible. They have hard bottoms so it’s obvious they were made for quick trips outside. I doubt anyone will be looking at my footwear. Not like I’m trying to meet the man of my dreams at the food store. I can’t let a man know I eat Spaghettios and pop tarts.

The carts sit like cattle waiting to be prodded. I arrive first at the corral. I reach out for the glimmering, green, germ-ridden handle. I smile. My smile melts into a grimace when I feel a sharp thud. I look to my left and the stiletto has grabbed me by the wrist.

“Excuse me,” I utter.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Is that your wrist? I was grabbing for the handle.”

She’s 5’10 with her stilettos, but I’m guessing 5’7 without them. Doesn’t matter, she’s still Goliath compared to my David. I see a burning fire in her eyes. I quickly tug my hand away. I shove the cart out of the corral to the right. She winces and wobbles on her stilettos.

Success.

She hollers after me. “RUDE.”

I continue on, proud of my small victory.

I push forward. My cart rumbles. I look down at my wheels, wobbly wheels. I tighten my grip on the handle and move on. I cannot let my wobbly wheels deter me from my mission.

I barrel towards the automatic door.

I make a sharp right turn to the produce section.

Ready. Go.

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