A trip to the supermarket
Shopping on a Saturday night is a quiet affair; most people have better things to do. I don’t. I choose to take advantage of the calm conditions. On my way, I listen to loud dance music in the car. An old couple in the car park give me a wary glance and I realise that the bassy music is intimidating. As I emerge from the car, their anxiety melts away at the sight of my scarf and driving glasses. No danger here, just a head buzzing with reverse cymbal, a sound that is surprisingly hard to get out of one’s mind: reverse cymbal as I inspect the cauliflowers; reverse cymbal as I browse the tinned fish. Nobody notices the incongruity of my internal soundtrack in the sedate, brightly lit aisles, but I do. There’s no one to get in my way so I take my time and do a careful shop, and I start to grow attached to the contents of the trolley. What if someone made off with the trolley? I’d lose all that effort. I keep my trolley close by. I need some port. I don’t need port. That is to say, I want port for a recipe. Irritatingly, in this empty supermarket, a crowd has formed around the port, all brows furrowed as they pointlessly contemplate the labels and get in my way. Can’t a fellow shop for fortified wine in peace these days? I hate them. The checkout is empty and the assistant is talking with her friend, so I work methodically and pack the bags sensibly. A loaf of bread, another loaf of bread, oats - the oats join the bread. ‘A soft bag of cereals,’ I think to myself, but I’m thinking too much and meat is piling upon veg and veg is piling upon tins, all propelled by a remorseless conveyor belt. The next bag is a hasty one: tomatoes, tins and bottles. I chalk that one down to experience. I chalk it all down to experience, pay for my stuff and head home.