There was a buzz and flicker in one of the fluorescent lights above Florence’s head, which did not help make her task of sorting discounted white washcloths from a large cardboard box any more pleasant, which she noted to her co-worker, Teresa. Teresa, sorting her own box of discounted almost-expired lipsticks, nodded in agreement. A small girl played peek-a-book in the racks of discounted ladies’ underwear, a man carefully considered the discounted Christmas ornaments already on display in September, and a mother, me, rushed to the discounted toy aisle to quickly pick up a birthday present for a child she didn’t know a damn thing about. The small girl, mine, giggled at the largeness of the ladies’ underwear. The man studied a musical glass globe containing a scene from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” At the checkout, Florence bemoaned to Teresa the shortcomings of another employee while “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” played over the discount store’s PA system. She really didn’t even see me at all as she took my credit card and wished me a nice day, which was grey, rainy, and almost done. 


I live in the kind of place where I saw not one, not two, but three new BMW Z4’s today, as I drove around my usual errand spots. Inside all three: grey-haired gentlemen, driving alone, watching me watching them. 


“….is it dead?”

“i don’t know.”

“go poke it.”


it hangs in mid-air, seemingly from nothing at all, moving only with the tiny breezes that brush by it, dead or alive.