Dear Hateful, Spiteful, Miserable Woman Behind Me at Rite-Aid Ten Minutes Ago:
Well, I’ve been beat out at my own game once again. Imagine my glee as I stepped off the subway this evening after forty-five minutes of completely unscathed public transit use. My high but misguided spirits carried me right into the drugstore to purchase a padlock for the gym locker I thought I might use tomorrow morning during my maiden voyage to the Bally’s Sports Club I joined earlier this week in a clear fit of mental instability. Again, a relatively painless excursion into what is, typically, perhaps one of the most excruciatingly crowded and poorly managed Rite-Aids in the greater metropolitan area.
Then came you. Muffled at first, as I still had my earphones tucked into my ears despite the fact that Cassie was through singing “Me & U”, yet urgently loud enough to secure my attention.
“Separate lines,” you hissed, in your indiscernible Eastern European accent, your pasty features book-ended by a set of white earphones identical to my own..
“Hmm?” I smiled dreamily, assuming I’d misheard your innocent query as to where I’d purchased my new, price tagless fall jacket.
“Separate lines,” you gurgled, in a whining plea. “I live
here, I know how it works. Separate lines.”
You’ll recall my peaceful but firm tone as I suggested to you that there was really nowhere for the 2nd line to form, as the cashier was planted squarely in front of the Entenmann’s discount baked goods display.
When you squawked that fine, you’d stand there if nobody else wanted to, you’ll recall that I then grasped the shiny red down vest of the innocent young woman in front of me and loudly, perhaps owing in part to my earphones, suggested to her, “You’re in that line, right? Right
You may then recall, though surely your vision was stymied by the smoke flowing from your nostrils, that the young woman politely conferred with the customers in front of her and then meekly stepped over to the 2nd cashier, while the customers in the 3rd, less confusing line simply stared at both you and I like we were part of some sort of shrieky, inpatient, earphone wearing, sundry purchasing clique.
I turned back to the front of the line and tried ignoring you, resolved that I would not let Another Long Week be capped off by you and your adorably inappropriate antics, but then you took the game up a notch by trumpeting over my shoulder to the cashier, “SEPARATE LINES, RIGHT? SEPARATE LINES?”
Clearly caught off guard, the cashier confirmed your assertion. Having removed my earphones, I distinctly heard the scraping of your claws on the linoleum behind me as you prepared to circumvent your fellow paying customers by line-hopping.
And that’s where you had me. That’s where I lost. That is where I lost all sense of decency, hurled myself in front of the cashier – past the older woman who’d been waiting patiently with her six-pack and enormous bottle of Tide, past the young man whose poor choice of lines had landed him behind the woman who was now on her thirteenth credit card swipe at the 1st cashier, past all of the unfortunate and lost and innocent souls who have ever waited patiently in lines across the world across centuries across mere boundaries of time and space – and slammed my padlock down on the counter.
“Separate lines,” you whinnied once again, perhaps failing to notice my embarrassing act of impulsive public disregard. My brain started to boil. “I live here,” you continued like some sort of otherworldly parrot of Satan, “I know
That’s when my head exploded twenty yards into the cosmetics aisle and my hands plunged into your chest and ripped out your filthy, inpatient Slavic heart as I screamed through my disembodied set of lips which were now sailing overhead towards Soaps & Shampoos, “YEAH, I LIVE HERE, TOO. WE ALL LIVE HERE.
Time froze. People stared. A woman in line 3 stared at me with a look of either abject fear, concerned pity or, perhaps, proud solidarity, as if to say, “I, too, live here.”
I paid for my lock and left, unable to even give the nice cashier a discernible response when he asked me How I Was. “Grawd,” I slurred back at him, swiping my lock into my bag and reeling dizzily out the door.
You’ll be happy to know that it’s now been thirty minutes and my skin still feels like it’s going to fly off my white hot skeleton and go find an innocent basket of kittens to smother. You probably couldn’t tell by the twitch in my eye that I had only recently recovered from the second Migraine in as many days. No thanks to you, I have a suspicious feeling I’ll shortly be moving into number three!
On behalf of everyone else who waited patiently, albeit foolishly, in line, half of whom at this very minute are regaling their families with stories about the crazy Eastern European couple fighting in line at the drugstore, and the other half of whom simply hate me, thanks. Thanks for making sure that, once again, I didn’t make it through a full week in New York City without wishing that I could peel my eyeballs off and go live in the sewer rather than contend with the crazy people. I have a feeling I know who put you up to this
, so you’ll be kind enough to extend my thanks to them as well. Maybe the four of us can all get together and be absolutely, indefinably, inexcusably, 100% unconcerned with humanity.
I’m actually super happy that you live here, because now after I go to the gym and get big and strong, it will be that much easier to pick you up by your earphoned ears and toss you in front of one of the Grey Line buses bombing down 8th Avenue! Ha ha! It will be fun!
See you never,
And seriously hope you choke on, or are mortally allergic to, or terribly disfigured by, whatever it is you bought tonight,