I’m in a very long check-out line at Duane Reade with only one register open, my arms filled with items.
A can of Comet I’m holding, falls to the ground. A man behind me picks it up.
“You need a cart,” he says.
“See, I do this is on purpose,” I say, “only buy what I can carry.”
I smile…he does not.
The little Latino cashier, with enough cleavage to stop a train, calls out, “The system is a little sluggy…please be patient. Happy Easta.”
A woman ahead of me dressed all in black says,” It’s Good Friday, for heaven’s sake, not Easter…a very sad day.”
She turns around, shaking her head. “You’d think they’d teach them that.”
“Look,” I say, “in a day or so, all will be well. Think of Good Friday like a movie you’ve seen and already know the end to.”
“That’s an awful way to put it.”
My Comet drops again.
The man behind me picks it up.
I watch the woman pay, almost decapitating the credit card machine taking her Visa out.
“You wanna a receipt?” the cashier asks.
She does not.
My Comet falls a third time.
The man picks it up and slams it on the counter.
“LEAVE IT THERE,” he says.
When it’s finally my turn, the cashier picks up a jar of conditioner I’m about to buy.” You like this?”
“Yes, it’s good for split-ends.”
“I do.” This seems to please her.
I can’t help but to smile at this overdressed, underpaid, good-hearted girl.
“Happy Easta,” she says.
“And a Happy Easta to you.”
I leave without my Comet, still sitting, like a lost child, on the counter.