It was a quiet Friday…aside from Jenny spilling her coffee on me this morning it was your normal day at work. I’d been looking forward to this sunny Friday because my best friend, Brett, was having a BBQ/dinner party at his place. We were all responsible for bringing a different entree so I decided that I was going to show up early and prepare some steaks and baked potatoes, my grandpa taught me how to grill these dietary staples when I was young, and they’ve been my favorite ever since.
The clock struck 5pm, “Finally, time to get out of here” I said to myself. I had to stop somewhere to pick up the food so I found a Publix near Brett’s place on Google.
“Turn right on to, 4th. Avenue. South” Google Maps chanted. The estimated time was 15 minutes, but I figured I could get there in 12-13. I safely arrived after purposely speeding through a red light that didn’t have a camera on it. As I walked up my phone vibrated in my pocket, it was a text from Brett. “could u pick up some baked beans and hamburger buns? Thanks” This is where things started to go downhill.
As I walked in I could feel something was off, “This is not my Publix”. I could feel the sense of impending doom and unfamiliarity as the automatic doors slowly opened, “Enemy territory”. I cautiously scanned my surroundings…scouting for a familiar person, familiar aisle, maybe even a BOGO sale to keep me grounded. Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot…I felt like I was wading through an enemy stronghold during World War II, “Is this some kind of evil game?” I thought to myself.
I tried to go from memory but it failed me…”The baked beans should be here! They’re always here!” Memory doesn’t work in this place, not Publix. Nothing works here…
After 5 minutes of paranoid wandering I managed to find the steaks and potatoes, typically the outer ring of any grocery store has that stuff, but the aisles…the aisles were a labyrinth of mystery. I wanted to ask an employee where the beans and buns were…but my pride wouldn’t let me.
I began to doubt myself; the cold sweats were setting in, “Should I just…’forget’? I could definitely pretend like I forgot them…he would understand…right?”
I couldn’t. Brett needed me, the world needed me.
After mustering up the courage I approached what looked to be a manager. Medium height, slightly overweight, glasses, a white button down shirt, blue tie, and a green nametag with “JIM” embedded into the plastic. I cleared my throat and managed to mutter, “H-h-hey, could you show me where the baked beans are?” He walked me over to the correct place, he was a kind man..they always are.
After what felt like an eternity I approached the cashier, her name was Julia. I began placing my items on the belt when it happened…
“Did you find everything okay?” Julia asked.
An ice cold bolt of lightning surged down my neck, “I FORGOT THE HAMBURGER BUNS”
Julia smiled, “It’s okay sir, they’re BOGO this week!”
My eyes widened and my primal emotions took over as I burst out in a fit of rage, yelling, screaming and crying all at once. The ground began to shake underneath me.
“WHERE SHOPPING IS A PLEASURE!” I roared as my body began convulsing. The tile floor began to crumble when Jim charged me and took me to the ground, a tear rolled down my cheek…it was over.
At that moment I shot up in my bed, fully awake, breathing heavily, “It was all a dream…”, I whispered to myself, “Where shopping is a pleasure…”
I would tell you that I’m scared to go back, but I can’t help myself…the subs are too good to pass up.