I got behind two Mexican guys arguing over what condoms to buy at the convenience store last night. They were talking furiously in Spanish with each other as the clerk tried to offer them box after box that were kept behind the counter. The line was getting backed up and the portly black lady in front of me rolled her eyes and blew loudly holding her chips and a drink. She just wanted to pay and get out of there she said loudly and impatiently. The convenience store was really busy and rocking for 1am and the clerk looked frantic. I felt so sorry for him. I worked this same shift in this same store for about six months in the early nineties. I knew what he was going through. My boss, then, thought I was the best employee she had ever had. I later learned she was in love with me, but twice my age.
Finally, it was my time to pay. I put my cheese on wheat crackers and my bottle of wine on the counter to pay.
“Can I see some ID?” the clerk asked. “You look under 35. We have to check everybody that looks that young.”
I took it as a compliment and fumbled in my pockets for my driver’s license. He studied it carefully and then rung me up after handing it back.
“You really, really look young for your age,” he told me in consolation once again.”Sorry for that.”
I left the convenience store and walked down to the bank to my favored bench by the tracks. I sat and cried for a good thirty minutes as I sipped on my wine unhappy that I was once again drinking. I feel so guilty about if for some reason as if I am carrying the sins of the world on my shoulders. I am at my wit’s end with this anxiety I am experiencing and a few drinks is about the only thing that will quell it. I did feel much better anxiety wise after a few drinks though. It is so intoxicating. I am strongly convinced I have a gene that predisposes me for drinking. Alcoholism runs very heavily on both sides of the family. It seems to have culminated in me.
A few trains passed, but not many. I would watch the signal down the tracks anxiously for it to turn yellow then red. I thought wistfully about donning my big Kelty backpack, jumping a slow freight, and just disappearing for the rest of my life. Maggie being the sole reason for holding me back from doing this some day. I finally donned my earphones and listened to Coast to Coast AM which lifted my spirits. I got lost in the conversations on the show. Last night was open lines and people call in with the most interesting stories and questions.
I haven’t been camping in years, and decided last night I would spend my fourth camping by our pond in God’s country tonight. It is over in Waverly, Alabama where my grandmother’s farm was located. I have tons of really nice camping gear, and I take great pleasure out of getting to use it. It was one of the few nice things I got in the divorce. I am also going to do some fishing and hope to fry a few bream for supper. I’ve got to get some cornmeal and peanut oil today. Although, I abhor the thought of cleaning fish, it will be worth it. Nothing tastes like the succulent white flesh of sunfish or bream fried in cornmeal to perfection. It’s a bony fish, though, so you have to be careful not to get choked.
Charlie is going to be here at 3pm with my medications today he said. It will be so nice to get them so early and my diet Cokes as well. Charlie is bringing me a fried catfish plate for a late lunch from Merl’s diner he told me. He as to go to Liz and J.L.’s for the 4th’s festivities thus the early visit. He asked me if I wanted to go, but I don’t like J.L. He aggravates me with his money and boisterous bragging about it. He made millions in textiles in the nineties before all the cotton mills moved overseas.