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The Process of Leaving the House


Today I got home from work, gave Alan a kiss and changed out of my slacks. We had to go to the small, slightly depressing specialty medical supply store which closed at 6. It was 5:20. We had been putting it off for 2 weeks now, and now it could be put off no longer. The last time we went, Alan could not go in. And so I went in alone and it was a strange shop, oddly organized with random shelves containing few items. Most of the store’s contents seemed to be kept in the back. As I asked the shopkeeper for the things I needed, I wondered why everything wasn’t displayed in neat rows on shelves like at commercial pharmacies and medical supply stores like Walgreen’s. Who was going to come in and steal these things? Was that a problem? The stealing of the specialty medical supplies? I pictured the elderly coming in and swiping stuff off the shelves while out on their afternoon walks and had trouble fully imagining it. When the lady rung me up at the counter, I first noticed her nails, long, acrylic, rounded tips with bright blue glitter splashes across the middle finger nails. Then I noticed a small bowl of wrapped candy next to a “thank you” sign. If not actually from the 70s, it at least looked like the kind of candy people might have eaten back then.

At 5:25 I asked him if he was ready to go.
Me: Are you ready to go to the store?
He: Yea, right after this episode of Scrubs.
Me: OK, but the store closes at 6.
He: Oh ok.
He turned the TV off. Things were looking good. Individually, together — all the time — we were hopelessly late. But here we were, with our heads on, with our shoes tied, with our phones —
“Where’s my phone?” Alan disappeared back into the bedroom.
“On the bed, I saw it on the bed,” I said.
–our wallets
“My wallet,” he snapped his fingers, remembering that he needed his wallet, and instinctively patted his butt. He was surprised to find that his wallet was not in his back pocket, but in his front pocket. Then he remembered his pants didn’t normally have front pockets.
He turned to me.
“Why are my pants on backwards??”

Last modified: January 10, 2019