Flash Fiction: Shopping with Purpose

No matter what you do, your glasses are always dirty. They smudge up quickly, even in the best of intentions, as you are careful. This is what you found out when you put on your mask for the first time and hundreds of times after that. It wasn’t like you had a choice. You didn’t want to a be sheep as the other side called you relentlessly, but you had to do it or else you wouldn’t be let into the store. Your stomach needed to eat even though it could’ve used a good week of cleansing. You thought about starving yourself but understood most people would think it stupid. They know how much you love food especially food that tastes good. Besides this was nothing to be proud of especially for someone as fat as you. Off you went with a cart you cleaned with a sanitizing wipe. As you shopped for food you didn’t need and some of it you couldn’t afford, you thought about the news discussing all the pandemic babies. You can’t understand why people wanted to procreate during this mess, but then again, life is better when you live behind shades where you can’t see the dirt underneath fingernails. Someone behind you is clearing his or her throat. You dare not look because it makes you cringe because you know it’s not someone who wants to be your friend. A part of you wants a friend, maybe even needs a friend. Why? Do you need a mask-less person to talk to because you are lonely? Your mind wanders and you focus on how annoying it is to listen to someone who mumbles where you can’t make out anything he is saying. When the conversation is done, the only word you say under your breath is “bombastic” because the person speaking sounded like an inflated balloon with too much helium.

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