Bathed in shades of milk and strawberry Pop-Tart filling,
the rectangular package had popped into my field of vision
in the Awkward Aisle of the Price Chopper.
I placed it before the pimply
teenager at the till and remembered
my spreading redness the time I
bought condoms and lube and Fresca
at Shoppers Drug Mart on St. George in Moncton
from the pale lady with grandmotherly hair the
color of dandelion fluff
who looked as if she’d rather be selling me
Coffee Crisps or plutonium.
From deep in his diaphragm, the lad addressed me as
and beep-scanned my Summer’s Eve,
uncertain of whether I was running errands
for a wife or a girlfriend,
on a product research assignment for
a team of marketing Millennials in quirky neckties,
or preparing to be probed by a bearded butch buddy
behind a closed motel room door.
I dropped six dollars and tapped my right loafer
while the callow cashier counted sixty-four cents
in pennies and nickels,
and a phalanx of frat boys brimming with Budweiser
barreled up behind me.
When I collected my sack and sprinted into
sunlit anonymity, I promised myself and my deity-of-choice
use Amazon next time.
Adrian Slonaker zigzags back and forth across the Canadian/ US border and works as a copywriter and copy editor. His work has been nominated for Best of the Net and has appeared in Pangolin Review, Aerodrome, WINK: Writers in the Know, and others. He is fond of rain, wrestling, owls, folkrock music and long chats with charmingly eccentric folks.