Arson Parties and Drugs
Every ounce of my patience is being tested by this point. I just said good-bye to a friend. I miss my daughter. I have a feeling my evening will not go well (turns out I am right), and this woman is upset that the green onions aren't cheaper. Pick your battles, right?
She turns and apologizes to the woman behind her. "Sorry for holding up the line." Then it's back to arguing over soda.
I move to another line. The man in front of me smells of beer and charcoal. A cook-out, perhaps. Makes me want a hamburger. He turns to me and says, "This place is always fucking packed, man. Always." He has about eight teeth. His t-shirt proclaims his love for the the Giants, a baseball team I care little about. If this is any indication of its fan base, however ...
"I try to avoid here on Saturdays," I say.
"Smart move. You know if there's any parties tonight?"
I cannot believe this. I am not a party person, but I'll play along. "There's an arson party I know about. About thirty people getting together."
He nods like he understands this thing I just made up. "Sounds cool," he says.
"It's actually hot."
He smiles. "Got it."
"You're funny," he says.
"Wasn't trying to be?"
"That hurt?" he asks as he pays. He's nodding toward my face. My septum piercing.
"No." Not as much as being stuck in the store at this time.
"Sweet. I want a tattoo."
I'm shocked he doesn't have some girl's name etched into his arm via a gun made of a Walkman and a guitar string.
"Good luck," I say. I've paid. Gathered my food.
"Have fun at the arson party."
"It'll be a real barn burner," I reply. He follows me out of the store and then changes.
"No where I can get party favors?"
Oh fuck all mighty. So now I look like I can hook him up? Sweet.
"No. That ain't my thing. I like fires and guns. Sorry."
"All good," he says, as he gets in his truck. There is a car seat in the front. Luckily, it's only occupant is the bag he brought out of the store. It's clean, though, unlike the rest of the truck. He's got a kid. Lovely.
I watch the truck pull away, sigh, and start my car. None of this seems right.