By Mark S. Kourge.
Sometimes you just know a storm front is heading your way. The signs are always glaring to those with wits about them and senses wide open. Instincts should always be heeded, yellow traffic lights mean ‘stop hard,” and a totally unexpected visitor standing on your car whom you haven’t seen in decades means something.
Leaving Walmart after picking up dog food and other sundries, he got into his car and fired her up. AC responding to slice humidity. Somewhat dizzy from standing too quickly after tying left shoe lace, forgetting his blood pressure meds, recently increased, could cause sudden drops.
Clearing his head before engaging the transmission into drive, he pulls from the slot after looking both ways.
It is after turning right he notices the visitor.
He hasn’t seen one of these in decades and was floored at its presence. Hadn’t he just shared with both girlfriend and the best of neighbors his concern for their lack?
Pulling into vacant parking space he grabs his camera, seizing the moment.
Leaving his car, standing too quickly, head fills with whitish grey shades of fog. Shaking head from right to left with free hand pressed firmly against the side of his ride, the darkness and overhead lights develop clarity once again.
Slowly climbing on the hood, aiming camera, he begins to take photos of the this wondrous event. The reddish beam from his Fuji S4200 nails it, flash quickly follows. Moment captured. Repeating this process further, snapping shot after shot, progressing.
He thanks the grasshopper for showing him they are still alive and climbs back into the car.
He begins to drive. Thanking god for this opportunity, he moves down the road toward I-480. Heading to the Sav-A-lot for milk and other needed things some 6-8 miles away, hitting 60 mph, hoping this visitor would find a nice future as wind sweeps it to other places.
Minutes later, leaving 480 on SR 94, he wonders about the grasshopper while Twila Paris’ God is in Control plays through the speakers.
Taking a silent knowledge of what this even means to him and how he interpreted it, smiling as he sang: God Is In Control.
Thoughts sidelined momentarily as he sees some fool in a tricked out Royal blue Honda Civic run a red light at the intersection of Sr 94 and SR-176. Red and blue splashes appear from nowhere: Busted. Brief pursuit ensues. With little doubt, he’ll say he was sorry. It will be up to officer if he gets a ticket or not. No doubt, he made a mistake in judgment.
Turning left, minding his ‘p’s and q’s’ <and where the hell did that term ever come from?> he keeps the speed limit in the half mile to the store.
Hitting the overly bright fluorescence's bouncing off newly waxed flooring making pupils shrink to pinpricks, walking slowly down the small produce isle with red and green peppers, single onions and potatoes, celery and heads of lettuce. Not taking a .25 cent cart, willing to carry items with hands or a spare box, yet again, his eyes adjust to environment.
Hip shot from absent minded shopper, pulling sideways, the brunette with long blue highlights quietly gasps in a voice like Amy Grant. "i'm so sorry..."
Smiling, expressing no harm done, he compliments on her hair.
Smiling back, she says her name.
Saying his, watching her child anxiously shift about in the cart, he walks on.
Milk coolers, taking 2% in right hand, remembering the Q-tip clones he needs to buy, he heads to that isle. Down an isle containing dog and cat food, kitty litter, leading to feminine hygiene products, deodorant. There’s the Q-tip type things. Taking a box of several hundred, strolling and bidding good night to all he encountered.
He is Marmaduke, dog-walking to the registers, swaggering from side to side, happy face and contented.
Single register open, getting in line…
“No! You don’t not correct my kid, cunt! You bring this shit to me!” a blond with obvious signs of PIDs and low cut wife-beater top, bra-less, yells at a conservative lady in downtown suitable garb.
“Sorry, you’re child was climbing over the railing and standing on the Bud Light stack. “She could’ve gotten hurt! You didn’t notic-”
“I got game on this, bitch! Don’t tell my kids a fuckin’ thing!”
Stopping, turning, walking slowly to the screaming bleach baby momma.
“Okay, seeing as how you told me to do so. How close would you like me to bring this to you? Four feet or three? C’mon, Ms Attitude, what do you want?”
Haggard looking manager with wrinkled light blue shirt approaches, asking what the issue is.
Confident in her stance, hand in her purse, pulling out and showing the manager her badge: it reading: Marilyn ********, Cuyahoga County Child Services.
Another child of four begins to climb into the ice bag freezer as another tries to roll around the Encore frozen Turkey and Beef Patty $1.00 meals.
He exchanges a glance with a man behind him, sharing words about things new and laughable. This man looks a tad worried.
Thinking of the grasshopper and this occurrence, he begins to laugh with full voice straight from the diaphragm. Throttle open completely, as he’d learned from singing as a youngster in a Methodist Church choir, volume increasing, gaining notice.
Diverting attention, dropping the gallon of 2% to shining floor, as he laughed louder and louder.
Paying the tab with an Ohio Directional Card, hastily splitting to her rusted and ragged Plymouth. Kid services worker following like a hound from Hell, perhaps gathering license plate number, writing on 2 x2 inch yellow stick-its and white-blue plumes exit exhaust.
Yeah, like that wouldn’t fail an E-Check he quips allowed, causing laughter.
Getting an fresh gallon of milk, paying for it and the generic Q-tips, he leaves the store. Secondary doors open, warm, humid night air meets him. Horn of a train sounds behind the San-A-Lot cries aloud, focused conductor, in faded overalls and brown collared cowboy shirt, left hand on the Dead-Mans-Switch, thumping it when needed, moves a million tons of product on.
End of Part I.
Mark S. Kourge. 08102012