Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mothers Day Shopping, #4 or A Family Reunion.

Parts One, Two,  and Three are here, please have a look.

Lights in the lumber, plywood, and sheet rock aisle were flickering, shadows bouncing, ducking, hiding behind piles of cut wood. Only to pop up, black and white marionettes, strings being pulled by the popping, sizzling, inconsistent fluorescent tubes. The air was thick, it was a smoky, humid thickness, without smoke, without moisture, a cloying, thick atmosphere, anesthetic air, deadened, and hard to breathe. It dampened sound, blurred lines. Making you doubt your hearing, making you doubt your vision.

A scream forced its way through. It was a sound of anger, fear, pain and desperation. But, the air

made it sound weak, and hopeless, a sound that would never see light. From a source that would never escape. It trailed off, until the echo was all that was left. Lights flashed as if in anger at the intrusion.

One of the carts filled with cut wood moved slowly toward us. We watched as it inched closer and closer, the rough end of the wood veering at the last minute. Hiding under the cart was a man. His orange shirt wrinkled, stained, ripped at the shoulder and across the side. His name tag was broken in half, and only the first part was still attached, it read “Hen” the “ry” left behind, somewhere. He had been using the cart of wood as a cover.

“I was going to make my way to floor coverings, and grab one of the small remnants to cover myself. When nobody was looking I was going to turn my shirt inside out, and pretend I was looking for window treatments, dodge through electrical and lighting, and break out of this place. I would stop at the Dan’s Deli truck out front and get some sausage and peppers, and hide behind the mulch until dark, then make my way home. My wife, I could see my wife and kids.” The tears were making the camouflage streaks on his face run, and smear. “I must be a mess.” he said, as if apologizing.

My wife handed him a tissue, a breath mint, a bottle of water, a granola bar and a clean t-shirt.

“How much stuff do you keep in that purse?” I asked.

“She gave me the look, and said to the man, “Put this on, and smile a lot, nobody will know you work here.”

“Bless you,” he said. changing shirts, wiping away the tears on his torn work shirt. He hugged my wife, and then he hugged me, and then he hugged us both at the same time.

A light tube shattered and he threw himself on the floor, and tried to roll under the shelf, but it was too low, and he kept turning and twisting trying to squeeze into a space that was too small. My wife and I looked at each other, and I bent over to help the man stand.

“Where are you heading?” He asked.

“We are going to buy some lattice for our cucumber plant to climb.” My wife said. She smiled, and tried to sound reassuring.

His smile was replaced by a mask of fear. He started shaking.

“Back in the Last Aisle?” He asked. I thought he would cross himself.

“I guess. Is that where it is?” I asked.

“Yes, here you need this more than I do. It is the only thing that will keep you safe.” He handed us small stone statue. It was in the general shape of a shopping cart, but it looked old, it looked ancient. Parts of it were smooth, and parts were ridged, and sharp.

“There are things back there, things! Be careful. I hope you like cucumbers.”  He said, hurrying away.