I Suffer For The New Year
I just walked home with 100 pounds of groceries on my back and 3 large boxes in my arms.
Although Safeway and the Post Office aren't far from where I live, I just found out they are far enough to understand a world of pain and suffering in just one city block.
I was doing alright managing the groceries, but when I left the Post Office, the packages were so tall I had to look to the side of them to see where I was walking. At that point I had a fleeting thought that I might not make it home. Or if I did, it may have been without the packages.
As I turned the corner onto my street and began walking up the hill, half-way up I had one of those "will-to-live" moments where I knew I could fall down and die on that very spot, where the hordes of homeless people would swoop down on me like pigeons on a slice of white bread, or I could press on until I reached the front door of my home, where I could then fall down and die unmolested. From down the street I could see the faint outline of my door and, like one of those weird zooming camera tricks you see in a movie, it seemed to move further the closer I moved towards it.
It became my focus. My reason for living. As my heart felt ready to explode, I was reminded of how many people die so close to home by that nagging internal voice that seems to be switched on at the precise moment you need it to be switched off. You know, reminded of those stories your hear, such as "he had travelled to Iraq and back and was awarded the Purple Heart, but was tragically shot two doors down from where he lived...by his own 8-year old daughter".
Oh, and did I happen to mention the chance of rain and how I brought along an umbrella that I couldn't carry opened and carry the packages, and that if it had began to rain, as it has all week, I would be carrying an umbrella with no way of using it? Or that it was just one more goddamn thing to carry?
Anyway, I'm back home feeling somewhat victorious that I managed to grab the last bag of black-eyed peas off of the bottom of Safeway's shelf. Not yet humiliated enough by life's kicks to the shins, I had to get on my hands and knees in front all of the yuppie stay-at-home dads who were calling after their baby-child named "Weston" to "come back or you can't have your animal crackers" and reach way back into the Safeway netherworld where God knows what or who (Chuck Mangione) could grab hold and not let go.
But I got em! Geez! Who would've thunk getting a bag of black-eyed peas 3 days from New Year's in the bluest city of the bluest state could be so damn hard?
Well, if you are planning on keeping up the luck-filled tradition of greens and black-eyed peas on New Year's day, RUN, don't walk to your nearest supermarket/corner store right now!
Better yet, DRIVE!