Shopping Solo

“Are you okay?” I heard it, too. Sounded like collapsing Thomas’s english muffins; happened right in front of ‘um. Can’t see from my vantage point, but whatever happened is enough to get a few people to turn away from $3 Weaver’s chicken breast (with club card). Two, concerned, leave their carts for a few seconds. One leans to the side; leaves two fingers on the steering bar. Serious stuff.

“Are any of these fucking mops under $10?” The candles are 3 for $3—with club card.

There’s some type of delay. Doesn’t look like anybody’s helping…whoever up. The english muffins aren’t on sale today. There’s some silence, thoughts placed in baskets.

“Why are the Swiffers cheaper than the mops? Do they come with the wet pads? They do. $12.99. Na.”

Some kind of stammers, people nod indifferently.

“Yeah, those sandals be dangerous…sometimes, I guess.”

“Anything here will put us over $15; just use the broom. Maybe use that thing Gina’s dad gave us…you, if anything.” I imagine I pour Clorox (I think I have bleach) and water into a paint tray, dip the cloth sweeper into it, and “mop” the wood floors.

“If you mix 1 part bleach and 10 parts water, you have a medical grade cleaning solution.” That’s what he said yesterday—I buy it.

Mom told me to mix vinegar with water. “It makes your apartment smell like a salad, but it’s safe on the floors.” I don’t have vinegar, and these ain’t my floors.

The spill picks itself up.

“Yeah, gotta be careful wearin’ them sandals.”

The crowd disperses. Back to the Weaver. The full-priced english muffins are fine, but they can stay on that shelf. So can the fuckin’ mops, I’ll just use the broom. The carts are rolled away. I take my basket to the 10 items or less lane, punch in my phone number for club card savings, and check out the checkout girl. $14.37. Boo-yah.

“3 more months and you’re out of here.

I don’t want to move.”


I pretend not to hear the woman collecting donations, climb into my car, and take off. Look forward to getting back to the apartment, unpacking these three bags, then…