Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Supermarket

The pale glow of the lights in the parking lot reflect off the shiny silver shopping cart inhabiting the last parking space available. Hands clench the steering wheel, staring at the lone cart, cursing the human slug that was so inconsiderate as to do this to them...

Store front reflections waver in the puddles of afternoon rain, shoes scruff as they drag across the asphalt, mind lost in silent thought taking unconscious steps. Slamming like a sledgehammer into eardrums, the horn startles, bringing attention to waving hands giving salutes from behind the steering wheel. Swallowing hard, the pace quickens in frustration toward the swooshing doors of solace...

Sqweeksqweeksqweeksqweek, the caster spins freely like a dancer on the yellowing linoleum, dragging around corners, pulling the cart sideways. Tense fingers force it forward against its will down rows of canned vegetables, standing ready in anticipation of purchase. Laddened in groceries it becomes harder and harder to make headway, until the breeze of passing catches a display of boxes, beginning an avalanche...

Even breathing stopped for a moment, back straight, not wanting to look back, knowing what she would find. Turning slowly, her shoulders dipped as lips trembled, a desperate moan leaking from within. Sinking to the floor, one box found her hands and she just hugged it to her chest and cried...

Finding her there, shattered on the floor next to the disarray of the display, knowing it had little to do with boxes, carts or blaring horns. Avoiding the growing feelings of anxiety she had pushed forward, holding words on her breathe, building tension in her soul until it finally broke in all its glory on aisle four.

Kids, husband, work, cleaning, friends, teachers...in taking care of everyone else, she had forgotten to take care of herself. Give, give, give, take, take, take...leaving her emptiness filling with frustration, ruining all the moments she tried to create for others behind a manufactured lipstick smile.

Clean up on aisle four, the droning disembodied voice crackled through the speakers. How little did they know...

34 comments:

Colette Amelia said...

such is the fate of many of those who assume too much responsibility, who are too nurturing, and are too taken for granted by their family.

so sad for then when they crash every one feels the pain.

Cindybrown said...

Wonderful writing. That is a good reminder to anyone, it is not easy being a mom, career woman, etc . tied up into one. Very nice Brian:)

Wings said...

Wow... Not sure the stockboy is gonna be able to handle that clean up!

Very nice, Brian.

lakeviewer said...

The price of carrying too much, doing too much, handling too much.

Daniel said...

Did you ever pass someone and say hello, didn't get a reply, and thought something negative? I know I have. Now I find myself more and more on the other side. So lost on the inside, so out of touch, so desperate. Nobody on the outside has a clue until something causes it to bubble up to the surface. I felt this one deep in my bones. Too personal. Too personal.

The Retired One said...

I swear you are a reincarnated woman.
You certainly captured exactly what it is like....
amazing!

A.Decker said...

Very insightful. Very well written. Bravo. No exclamation mark because it is such a sad, true-to-life story.

Really good, Brian. Really.

By the way: Did you see something like this, or is it straight out of your imagination?
High level blogging, either way.

Kate Hanley said...

I was so into the description (I go to the market A LOT) that the ending really got me. That was amazing.

willow said...

Wow, powerful piece, Brian. It's an easy thing for us wives and mothers to do.

Brian Miller said...

@colette - too true. can happen to many people with a big heart, until teh heart runs out of things to give...

@cindy - its hard to wear too many hats no matter who you are, you have to pick the ones that matter most.

@wings - yeah, i can imagine the prepubesent teen boy stumbling upon this...not pretty.

@lakeviewer - too true. why do we fall into that trap so easy though?

@daniel - i love you man.

@retired one - i probably am, and i always wanted to be a grasshopper...smiles.

@a.decker - she ws in teh grocery store today, a mess really...i filled in the gaps a bit here, but you could tell it had nothing to do with the boxes...

@kate - yeah, know the aisles pretty well myself. smiles.

Brian Miller said...

@willow - just missed you. thanks. yeah see a lot of this. my wifes not emotional at all...really...yeah...smiles.

♥ Braja said...

Even worse are the ones on aisle 3 who look ok on the outside, but are shredded within....

Well done, Brian...as usual....

otin said...

Life can be overwhelming, I like how you incorporated that into a supermarket! Very creative! The way that you built up the little annoyances of shopping and tied it in to the stress of life was brilliant!

Brian Miller said...

@braja - no the cheese i on aisle 1 if you want shredded. smiles. yeah, you go that right. we can only hide so long.

@otin - i was once found weeping in a shopping market myself. sent with a list and down to the last two things...luckily a friend found me and pointed me in the right direction. grocery stores are not my thing...they add stress to my world. let me keep the kids, you go shopping,really...

Ronda Laveen said...

It makes me want to know her story. How did she get here, to this point of melt down. Well done.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Wonderful, wonderful story. Thank you

Megan said...

Sad.

Kay said...

Remarkable! Very well done, very receptive and captivating with a fantastic conclusion! Bravo!

Baino said...

My you're so in touch with your feminine side. Sexist I know but it is largely we girls who battle with the bloody trolley. I've ALMOST done that. Certainly had an 'its all too much' cry at the checkout but managed not to knock anything over. I know how she got there . . .totally.

Goofball said...

the sad thing is that I fear this woman will feel mostly embarrassed about this event, will want to hide away, will feel judged,...one more thing to push her down.

whereas it could be a moment of insight, the turning point where she realises she must plan in time for herself, ... Somehow I fear that it won't happen :(.

Mrsupole said...

I have been like that women and I think it was at the beginning of my early menopause stages. I would just burst out crying, sometimes over the littlest thing. People thought I was crazy, heck I thought I was crazy. It was just hormone overload and it finally passed and it lasted for a while, years. Some nights I would just go sit on the floor in my bathroom and just bawl and bawl and then hubby would come in and say what is wrong and then I would bawl more cause I would say I didn't know. I think at first it scared him. Later he would just say okay and leave cause he knew I wanted to be alone. Then when it stopped it was so great. Hormones can drive someone crazy, but then too much stress because of too much responsibility can do the same thing. I sure hope that lady got help. I will pray for her. Thank you for such a wonderful post. I will catch up on other posts soon.

God bless.

liza said...

You must have been the best son! The women in your lives (mom & wife) have to be the most appreciated women on this planet! I've been away from your posts for a bit and wondering, WHY? Beautiful...just beautiful.

LENORENEVERMORE said...

It's truly not easy to balance life...lots of errr?-errr??

Candie Bracci said...

AH ya know that I'm a fan!That one is particularly beautiful.Thank you for them all!

Brian Miller said...

@ronda - me as well, as little as i could see in her eyes.

@@joanna - ty.

@megan - oh if you could see her eyes.

@kay - ok, blushing, smiles.

@baino - maybe its my empath. I try not to run from sadness and brokeness but enter in hoping to bring a bit of sun shine. I know how she got there, i have been there.

@goofball - yeah I imagine you are right...a slip of the mask can lead to trying to secure it more firmly, hoping it does nto slip again. I can hope she realises before it is too late.

@mrsu - thanks for adding so much to this, yet another layer. life can get crazy and sometimes we don't even know why or seem to have any control over it emotions or otherwise. I am sure your prayers would help.

@liza - actually i was not for many years, i hope now i have become. something about listening i did no get int eh younger years. the women in my life have added much to who i am now.

@lenore - err...life? smiles.

@candie - your welcome. always look forward to a visti from the owl..and of course your own lyrical posts.

Lorraine said...

I know that woman, I've seen her everywhere past, present and future. There is nothing better than a writer who can raise consciousness, already the world is a better place, you're pretty awesome!

subtorp77 said...

Relating to this all too well, Brian. Vividly versed...

Valerie said...

This is very, very familiar, oh yea!

Madame DeFarge said...

Had that feeling a few times. Nicely put.

Tom said...

It's the canned pea that broke the camels back! ARrrrrrrrrrrr! Mostly i just see surly grumps in the store, get in and get out. Who wants to spend their day at the market?

Cinnamon said...

Right-on Mrsupole- don't underestimate the hormones!

What amazes me Brian is how you see things that most people would not. like you could see into her soul.

Marianna said...

That was intense Brian! Great writing. Thank you :)

xoxo

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

It's pretty easy to get into that web these days - whoever is a major caregiver. It's important to do some things for yourself - like writing.

Lovely piece, Brian.

Deb said...

Yikes. You are one powerful writing. And for one microsecond I thought you were writing about me. The little hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. This is a wakeup call on many levels...