June 8, 2004

On sale

Yellow bulbs light what's "on sale". I can't see them now.

Standing on a small tile diamond, each one waits for one more customer. Smile, make conversation. We stand in a line like hookers on a street corner. On sale--take your pick.

Humming snippets from songs I don't know, waiting for my turn, I scan aisles seen countless times before. A familiar sight: a young mother spanks her child, looking from side to side, like a burgular, before she meets her hand with the naughty's blue bottom.

Another person. Another minute. I am too fast. Or too slow? They sigh when I pick up too many pennies. They smell. The outdoors, dust, black mold. We have to take it. Deodorant is on sale...

Discount meat. It leaks red on the counter. My fingers leave imprints in their dinner roast. I wonder if they notice? Probably not.

After work, another face, on the way to a party; just one more person. Do they know that when they leave, I stay?

I smell. Dirty green from money. Rotting meat and dark lettuce. Soap is on sale. Deodorant is on sale. Meat is on sale. Oranges are on sale. Turkey gizzards are on sale...Time is on sale. People are on sale: only $5.15 an hour. And more if you can pick up pennies.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at June 8, 2004 2:15 AM

I like it.

I just hope it's creative and not too literal. Librarians shouldn't sell rotten meat.

Posted by: Brian at June 10, 2004 4:48 PM

My favorite lines are contained in the last paragraph. I like it, dear. Just count yourself lucky that you only work there on weekends. I work everyday--at least you get to see the sun in your pool job with your nice girly-girls. *jealousy*

Posted by: Karissa at June 10, 2004 6:06 PM

Sorry to scare you--most of it is literal, Brian.

And Karissa, I thank God everyday that I only work there weekends. These are just some of my thoughts; I can't imagine them if I worked full-time. Though I think some cashiers make their minds numb, I think I think too much. I don't give my mind a break, which, of course, includes this type of work.

Sometimes, I covertly write on pieces of register tape and stick my thoughts in my pocket for perusal after the reinstatement of sanity a.k.a. quitting time. I become a different person there--someone I really don't like.

Posted by: Amanda at June 10, 2004 6:26 PM
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