Updated: Jul 4, 2022
I saw you standing there in that ridiculously long checkout line at the grocery store while I mindlessly stocked whatever vegetable my manager demanded at the time. I was people-watching and honestly didn’t mean to stare, but you had this… this air of sadness about you. I could tell you hadn’t being sleeping well, and my mind amid its midday boredom made-up a thousand reasons why. But then you accidentally caught my eye, and you… you smiled? And me being so doggone shy quickly looked away, embarrassed I could be caught with my gaze hooked on someone else’s aura in a goddamn Piggly-Wiggly of all silly places. The seconds struck like matches to not peek again. Ignore her, damnit. Be through. Why be bothered? But curious flames grew. What the hell else’s there to do when stocking kale and collards? Only this time I accidentally caught you looking;
and I could tell you were a bit bored
When your attention returned toward
The man standing behind you
With all his chitter-chatter
About the news and the Lord
and over and over asking you what’s the matter. I wish I could’ve been painful root cavities in the teeth of his that got to sink their inconveniences into your day-to-day store activities — that’ll shut him up. But I reminded myself that’s enough; I’m bored and blinded, and you’re a bluff. I promised I wouldn’t look at you as you went to leave the store. DON’T look again. DON’T be one of those Creepy McCreepos way up in the Creepo stratosphere that make you so uncomfortable next thing you know you’re making a Facebook status about me for your friends to smear… but I couldn’t help myself… I wanted to unravel your mysteries like carefully wrapped Christmas presents, only I wouldn’t act surprised by what I found. The grave-keeper in me would recognize the grave-keeper in you. And so I did; I looked, and you, knowing you had gotten everything you came for, pretended near the exit to glance behind you once more and maybe spot something you missed knowing damn well you weren’t going to fare that check-out line nightmare again even if you did, and our eyes happened upon each other’s... and you smiled, and I smiled, and for a second… for a second we knew it wasn’t a hoax. We were just two regular folks who both somehow returned to the same moment… I’d like to think we both needed that, whatever that was to get us through our morning.