August 3, 2020

There’s a Flamingo Loose in Aisle Eight

posted on: Thursday January 28, 2010

Dara Plath ’13 / Portfolio Staff

The Milky Way was staring at me like a doe-eyed cartoon of Bambi. I didn’t get a chance to eat breakfast that morning and there was no way my troll haired manager, Mr. Barnes, was going to let me get lunch. Especially since Stacy stormed out of the place about an hour ago, screaming at Barnes about an ex-girlfriend of his. She had thrown her thin arms up in the air and shaken her head violently, causing her frizzy blonde hair to flare about her like a swarm of angry bees.Working at Jim’s Grocery Store was like being forced to watch re-runs of Full House with my litter sister. I shut my eyes and tried to block out the slow hum of the refrigerators and whine of the shopping carts as tired PTA moms and distraught singles passed by my register. Julie, the 55 year old woman who worked next to me and resembled an agitated cockatoo, filed her red hot nails while reading one of her mind-candy magazines. Every now and then she would try to start a conversation, leaning over the register so her pink push-up bra could be seen from aisle two. Dating any cute girls? she would ask me in a raspy voice while cracking her strawberry bubble gum against her teeth.My stomach growled like a pack of hungry wolves and Julie looked up from her magazine. It must have been pretty loud because hardly anything could tear her away from the perpetual doings of pill popping starlets and wannabe Paris Hiltons. She gave me a kind look and I could almost see a mother in the wrinkles that grew out of the corners of her eyes and the saggy skin under her chin that shook fervently every time she laughed. I would have continued to keep my eyes shut in an attempt to block out the hunger pains and pity stares if Barnes hadn’t walked over at that exact moment, his red hair bouncing up and down like a bunny during Easter.Donny! There’s a spill in aisle eight. He handed me the mop and bucket filled with some mystery liquid. Go clean it up.I took the mop and made my way down to aisle eight. I felt like a convict walking to his death. The Ritz crackers stared at me like frightened witnesses while the fruit held itself back like an angry mob ready to strike. When I reached my final destination, I was taken aback by a vision not of an executioner draped in black, but of a girl.Emily Rollins stood in aisle eight staring at the shampoos. She bit the bottom of her lip, silently contemplating which brand would give her long brown hair the shine she craved. She was wearing a pair of khaki shorts and a blue tank top that accentuated her curves. Her flip flops were worn down with walking and the purple nail polish on her feet was starting to peel, giving each toe a bruised look.

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