Don't hassle me! I went to Walmart.
It was a cool 70F past midnight, and there were on my drive, maybe five other cars. Made to order, those kinds of drives are for me. Nothing like a midnight cruise in summer.
Of course, only the grocery entry of the Wal-Massive store is open at this hour, so I parked near, went in and did my usual search-find-buy-and-escape routine.
No one bugged me, save for my usual quick, "Go ahead." "No, You go." dance that I managed to do with a floor-waxer. Those machines are huge and loud, but I'd been reading a label, and didn't detect them, until I was three steps into the twirl. No harm done, I flashed the obligatory smile, "Excuse me," and, if not electric, slid around them to wider-aisled, tiled pasture.
Mentally playing my brave, Tina doesn't want to be in public and let's get this done shopping theme I took the floor up in clips to get to the register.
Lovely, the quiet white of silver-haired beauty in a lady that was my cashier. She spoke not a word, and I thought to myself, "This isn't so difficult. There are indeed soul-mates out here, those who have no need for trifle-speak of chit-chat, neither dodge and dart of eye contact." No, I'd have a peaceable checkout after all, and I felt on some level we bonded. sighs..No.
I do not read people, and so didn't realize the apparent discomfort my silence was causing, and I might ought go back and apologize for wreaking serenity, but I'm not sure how, other than I've learned many times one person's respect of silence is another's taboo.
In desperation, the poor lady took it upon herself to critique my keys, for lack of weather conversation, I suppose. I looked down at the moderate, if mildly overdone set, and agreed I could probably do without a few things. I mean, the small geode is just a play-pretty that makes me feel good, though I've long since lost my crystal of quartz. I have to have my Koko (kokopelli) to keep any sense of humor. I had to concur it was impractical. Otherwise, my little tape measure (Oh, like you don't carry one?) could go. I'm an artist, and I can pretty much eye the size of anything by now. Then there are those plastic bits that are scanned for savings at three different stores. I could probably cut back on one or two of those, and I do have two house keys on there as well.
She went on to describe how she'd had that sort of set up, and had to pay $$$ to replace her ignition (she seemed proud of it), followed by circuit work that left her radio not radio-ing!
Ghastly problem, that. I felt for her, and wanted to console, but she kept pointing at my keys, that weren't suiting her in the least and insisting I should change them, almost sanctimoniously. If I didn't suspect better of people. I might think a competition was ensuing, as she pulled out her keys, tossed them on them on the conveyor belt, pointed at them and said, "See?! That's all I carry now!" I said, "Yes, I can see how that would be a good idea." and she responded, "Well! (harumpf!) If you don't want to pay to have your car fixed!" I nodded telling her I was very sorry that happened, yes, I should trim down my key chain and I bid her a good night. I'm afraid the competition was lost on me, as I didn't realize it was a competition until an hour later. I should apologize for that too, maybe, but she appeared to have, "Won." so maybe not. I didn't know keys could upset people so badly, and I'm sure I was wrong. :p
Exiting the register at last, I discovered that the usual exit way after the register was now blocked by orange plastic fencing, installed when I wasn't paying due attention by floor-waxer people. Quickly assessing the new maze with major-escape-theme internally playing , I had to re-enter the forbidden zone (the area behind the registers where one only goes to shop) to make my way around the entrapment to the exit, realizing I'd forgotten cheese, but I didn't consider it a loss.
Past the usual oddly timed automatic doors and into the sweet night I walked, keys and all. I put them in my car and drove home accompanied by my silent five car companions. On arriving home, I got out, leaned against my car and looked at the stars.