Not. Going. In. That simple. Not today and probably never again. To that market. And what did it do? There wasn’t one singular thing, I’d say, but a stream of “things” and events and words and items the other day; the man with the lettuce for one, me grabbing it to pull it left, as we say, so the bagger could put it with the other like-‘things’.. “Could you please be careful?” he barked.
“I’m sorry?” I said.
“My lettuce, be careful with my lettuce,” he shot, watching me just before handle the apples and peaches and carrots the same type of grip and motion.
“No! Just be careful,” he closed. And I don’t know why he was telling me to be careful, there was only one ball, or head or whatever. He didn’t say a thing the rest of checkout, and I thought ‘I’m done, almost ten years, and I’m done, I’m DONE!’ Nearing my late 30s and I have a degree but I’m here, surround by this economic sticky, this job market if you could call it that– not much selection, but I’m here, or there, as I won’t be anymore, ‘cause I’m not going in, and I’m not going to look for a job today, or anything like that, I’m going to enjoy quiet, and coffee, and a walk. Autumn began yesterday, or Fall, officially, and I’m going for a walk, in the midday 60s, or low breezy 70s, and just live, slow. Walk, not rush or run, and if they call me, guess what I note to myself, “not picking up…” What do I want, I thought after lettuce man left, and an hour or so before the next incident of the woman complaining that something, a toothbrush set, was priced too high.
“This is too high, 6.99? I’m not paying that,” she said.
“So take it off?” I asked, gathering that tag broke the deal, didn’t sit well with her or something.
“No.. I just think it’s to high, what can you do for me?” I could see the people behind her becoming red, bubbling with impatience and checkout line ire.. so I just changed the price. I’m sure they’ll talk to me about that, too, but I don’t care. So what do I want? Not this. Not there. Not that. Not anymore.
And do what, my next question… If I don’t go in, then I put myself somewhere, somewhere in… just a spot, I’ll admit that. But I’m in a spot now, in that market, those isles and the bags and people asking me where stuff is and the ever-changing schedule: “So what days do you need next month?” I tell them only to be ignored and further incited.
I go outside, for my walk, leave phone at home, just me and the new autumn, this morning’s walk; blackbirds and jays, the breeze and a Canadian Goose, two actually, the families walking their dogs and children in strollers, the quiet and the sanity which I’m not used to.
I’m checking out. No more. I’m sure my phone’s ringing, 9:20 and I was ordered to come in early this Monday for another useless meeting. But I’m checked out. Going after what I want. And what? Don’t know, yet. But now I can learn.