i don’t know why i’m here. or how i got there. but it’s where i am. i must do what i’m here to do.
mindlessly loading up my cart. clearance items. wrapped in plastic. made in china. this place used to be a library. now it’s a mini mall. with the feel of an airport at 3AM. half of the sections are closed off. lights off. no signs of life. no signs at all.
i grab items from different sections. i don’t see anyone working the cash registers. they’re all preoccupied and missing. this doesn’t stop me. i continue browsing on autopilot. i have to go through a door to get to the next section. am i allowed to bring merchandise to this section? i haven’t paid for it yet, but nobody’s there to question me. i keep it moving.
i’ve wandered off so deep into this place for so long. my cart is near full with useless items. why am i still pushing it?
there has to be an exit nearby. i can feel it. and pretty soon i see it. yet still, no people in sight. i could easily walk out the door with my haul of free stuff.
what’s the point, grace? yes it’s all free, but it’s all so useless.
my mind is made up. i abandon ship. i don’t need this junk. no harm done, just wasted time. the moment my hands leave the cart, i’m in a different place.
outside of a hospital room. i can’t see the patient cause the curtains are shut. when i look down, i notice the place is flooded with a diluted disinfectant solution. i’m up to my ankles in bleach water. the cleaning crew has arrived. but the patient is still in the room.
a small river of blood seeps out from underneath the curtains. flowing past my ankles. i’m curious who’s on the other side. my curiosity is overtaken with an urge to breathe fresh air. and walk with dry feet. so i leave.
and just like that, i’m out. i’ve made it. finally. that chapter is over and now i am here. ready to go home for the night.
the air tastes like the 30 minutes following a midsummer sunset. warm. dry. refreshing. i see plants everywhere. plants that i helped grow. i look to my right and see an open air sidewalk cafe. all the customers have left and a middle aged couple are closing shop. music is playing. ethiopian music. it speaks to something deep within me and nudges me to move. they are dancing. i can’t help myself and start to dance. their joy is overwhelmingly contagious. i don’t care who’s watching. even the plants are moving to the beat.
i become light and am able to lift my feet off the ground. i dance and dance with the air till my eyes open and i am no longer there.