Main Street

She looks typical,
a woman of 50 or 60 –
wearing a gray, wool felt hat
against the December rain,
brown boots and jeans,
a jacket, nondescript.

She pushes herself to walk up
the slight incline along Main Street
and talks out loud
as if to a companion,
smiles a response,
goes on to reply.

That won’t be me one day.
Oh no. Trust me.

That’s me now.

Everyday Objects

The cashier Jacqueline overseeing the self-service check-out stands watched me scan the 20 packs of yeast marked: “Best Used for Bread.”

She wasn’t busy so she started bagging my groceries, which I appreciated. I find using the “clerk-out-of-work” line a double-edged sword:

I’m quick at scanning the bar codes and sending my canned goods hurtling down the conveyor belt. I’m pretty fast at entering key codes on the fruits and vegetables. I haven’t figured out an efficient way to pay and bag at the same time.

Jacqueline, a slender faced, pear-shaped woman, said (referencing the yeast packets), “I used to buy these 10 and 20 at a time when I used to make bread, but I gave that up when I got too fat. It’s hard to give up bread when you’re French.”

“I bet it is,” I agreed, acknowledging her effort and discipline and yearning.

I didn’t disabuse her with the fact that I pour the yeast packets down my toilet to treat the bacteria in my septic tank.