Just Shelley

Mid-life special

Yesterday one of my errands took me to KMart, home of the infamous Blue Light special. The store was strangely empty for a Saturday afternoon, with few customers and fewer store employees.

I couldn’t find what I was looking for and pushed the button at one of the service stations to get help. As I waited I looked around at the empty aisles and the tacky blue lights and the huge sale signs in this cavernous building, when I was suddenly hit with the thought, “This isn’t where I’m supposed to be. This isn’t what I had planned for myself.”

The force of the feeling of complete alienation from my surroundings almost folded me over. When the service person came up, I managed to communicate what I wanted, follow her, have an intelligent conversation with her, but inside it was, “Get the hell out. Now. Run!”

However, I didn’t run, but calmly paid for my purchases and slowly walked out to the car. Closing myself in I turned on my air conditioning and my music, and sat and thought.

I thought back to being on the road, no longer living in San Francisco, but also not yet living in St. Louis. I remembered driving through the thunderstorm in Nevada, and the biker gang and the trucker in Utah, I think it was. And I remembered my last cross-country trip and getting pulled over for speeding on the Navaho Reservation, and the Dog with No Name in New Mexico.

I wanted to enter the freeway and just start driving, but I sat in that car with my music and my thoughts, cool air blowing on me, drying the sweat on my upper lip and lifting my hair away from my face. Finally, I put the car in gear and I drove to another store, where I bought grapes and bottled water and some Corona beer to go with taco fixings. You have to have Corona with tacos.

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