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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Shopping, installment 3 (Dance of the Savages)

Please, read part 1 and part 2, or this will make even less sense, and nobody wants that on Monday.

Finally, we began making our way through the commotion, obstruction and low level of constant fury to the back of the store. Meandering around groups of quarreling shoppers, angry, hostile employees, armed with orange aprons, crude box cutters, paint chipping off the sides, leaving a dull, grey pattern peaking through. Their name tags should have read “I’m Geoff, let me find someone from this department.”

In the fastener aisle stood an old man, a younger man that looked so similar it had to be his son, and a young boy who looked to be about eleven, and had to be the grand son. They were all dressed in khaki cargo shorts with enough flaps and pockets, to hold a change of clothes, and t-shirts. The work boots looked durable, and almost new. They were negotiating over the use of a large anchor bolt. It was heated, and intense, much the same as everything in the store.

“Dad, we don’t need that many anchor bolts, it doesn’t have to stand a nuclear strike.” The son said, we will just label them by number for convenience. 1 will be the grand father, 2 will be his son, and 3 will be the grandson.

“You don’t want the damned thing falling apart,” 1 said, shaking a long, pointed, angry looking bolt
at 2.

3 rolled his eyes upward, and sighed in exasperation. He sighed, put in earbuds, and began swaying to the beat.

“I don’t need it to be earth quake proof, either.” 2 said, inching back from the pointed bolt. Then, thinking better, he leaned in, daring the old man to poke him. “We are just building a patio deck, not tornado shelter.” He leaned a little farther forward.

“Ach, you are lazy and foolish. You don’t know anything about the ravages of time. Rush through, and watch it fail, that is all you know. All any of you know.” 1 said, leaning in, the bolt swaying back and forth, hypnotically, menacingly, only inches separated them.

3 had found a groove, was moving to the music, an earbud slipped out. The motion and the music began to infect the people who gathered to watch, soon they were all dancing, up and down the fastener aisle. 3 was unable to resist and started tapping a rhythm on the steel shelf, his right foot keeping time. 2 was swept up in the revolution, and started dancing with the assistant manager who was storming past to referee a battle at register 7.

My wife and I were dancing and singing, and the mood lightened, somebody passed around a 2 liter bottle of water, and the whole aisle was glowing with happiness and joy, the power of music. 3 and 2 agreed to use more anchor bolts and cut back on the beam hangers, and walked away talking about the time they went fishing and the boat sprung a leak. They were forced to paddle quickly as the could, finally making it to water they could walk in before the boat sank completely. They were laughing so hard they needed to lean on each other.

For a brief moment we all forgot why we were there. Shopping, and things maybe happy and loving here. But, we still had to get to the back of the store, gather our lattice and make our way to the front, stand in line and check out, and there was nothing funny about any of that.