She’s steered me down the tampon aisle and now we’re parked, window shopping here. Like she hasn’t bought these exact same products for at least two decades already.
I’ve been ditched here before, while she ran clear across the supermarket to grab a bag of grapes. Oh, and when I say “ran”, I mean my geriatric grandmother moves quicker.
And she died, two years ago.
Speaking of which… sorry…
Speaking of which, I’m kind of glad that if we are loitering, it’s in this particular aisle, since it means – well, you know. She needs them.
We had a scare last year… Well, it terrified me.
As it turned out… the pair of us just congenitally run late for everything. Like this weekend. The boys’ll have the tents up already. Keep it simple, stupid; I could sleep in my undies, let her take the car and I’ll just jump on a bus.
Oh, for crying out loud! Is she still choosing? Geeze, if she can’t make up her mind, what hope could I possibly have when she sends me out for them?
“Just a sec’,” and she’s halfway down the aisle, cute brow furrowed as she calls over her shoulder, something about eggs, her long red hair swishing.
Bugger it. Distracted for a second, and I’m abandoned and alone again; a dangling paper-mache piñata. Surrounded by kids weaving menacing figure-eights, whacking sticks poised to clobber my nether regions.
“Let’s get them at the end… they’ll crush otherwise…” practical wisdom falls on fast-retreating ears.
Blokes don’t organise supermarkets. If they did, there wouldn’t be fifty different types of bread and another thirty varieties of milk.
It’d be simple. Shelves at the front for the white bread and barbecue sauce. Next to that, the fridge. Full of barbie sauce (catering for those heathens who prefer to keep it in the fridge), alongside milk, bacon and eggs.
Shopping on pension day is so busy; it’s far nicer to come along late Saturday morning. You can take your time. No-one’s in a rush.
Watching people. This couple : old enough for teenagers of their own, but it looks like he’s the child. Swinging his trolley about. She’s got her hands full.
Tension between these two throbs – he’s rolling his eyes and drumming on the trolley handle. I feel like marching up to him.
“He died, two years ago.”
I’d give anything to spend more time with my rock, my soul mate.
I’d have loved to really talk to someone about what happened last year. Everyone’s at fault, no-one’s to blame, but it depends on who you talk to.
My two kids used to visit us together but not since the funeral. It terrifies me, cousins growing up, not knowing one another.
Tried to arrange something to have them kiss and make up, but the pair of them congenitally run late for everything, but not so as their schedules align. Just one of them – or both, please just get on a bus!
It’s not hard to apologise and take some restorative action.
Just a sec. What was I here for again?
This old-timers… I’m so easily distracted these days now I’m all alone.
That’s right. One of the grandkids’ birthday parties. My basket is full of frozen fish fingers and I need to think of strenuous activities for them to do, so I can sit down.
How about one of those papier-maché donkeys full of lollies? Kids love whacking things with sticks. “Go fish”, if it rains. I’ll pick up a pack of cards.
They can play hide and seek too. I’ll use some practical wisdom I learned as a little girl. Kids don’t need fifty different games or thirty varieties of entertainment. They need simplicity. And family.
Oh, and I might run an egg and spoon race too. I’d better get a dozen.
Life is flipping perfect!
He is a manly man, but he doesn’t flinch when I wind him around the aisles; not even this one. We’re almost at the end of our list but everything I see jogs my memory. Vivid splashes of days and long nights gone by.
Better grab some pads. Don’t need any myself but if you’re out with the girls, you’ve got to be prepared.
Speaking of which…
I haven’t told him yet… and somehow his instincts are still to run away as fast as he can.
Only for a fishing weekend with the boys, mind you, but I need him close. Especially now. I mean, he’s my rock.
We haven’t talked – you know, really talked about what happened last year.
Or, what didn’t happen last year. No-one’s fault, everyone said. It happens. Fifteen percent, or even higher, depending on who you talk to… or whether they even mention it.
I’d been on a fitness kick, started a new diet and was sick with gastro – or so he thought. He probably thinks I just missed a period or two. Like they’re buses.
But the girls have been there for me and he does love me.
He shows me with words.
Inaction – yes. He can go fish another weekend. I need to sit him down today. We need to deal with the past before I…
“Just a sec, I think we’re running out…”
The future is staring us down and before we know it – if we’re lucky this time – this baby will be playing hide and seek with us. It’s coming, whether we’re ready or not.
So we’d better be.
Because I can’t just pick up more eggs.