24-Hour Walgreens

It was New Year's Eve, I remember because it was so damn cold.  Our friends were visiting from the town where we used to live, so there was quite a bit of nostalgia going around, talking about all the good times we had in our extravagantly co-dependent, faintly incestuous relationship. Our friends had a brand new baby so the best Biffy and I could do to get away was to walk to the 24-hour Walgreens. We tired to walk fast, but we were wearing snow pants and heavy boots and coats the size of Connecticut, and the wind was blowing us hard, so we weren't getting anywhere fast, though we were expending a lot of effort, scrunching up our faces and swearing about how cold it was.

When we finally got to the Walgreens and those doors slid open, it felt like we were travelers coming off a month long trek across the Great Plains.  It was the most delicious feeling to step inside and it didn't even matter how strange the people are who gather at a 24-hour Walgreens in the middle of a Wisconsin cold snap on New Year's Eve, we were glad to see each and every one of them. We walked around the store marveling at the things a person can buy at a Walgreens these days, jumper cables, fishing lures, paint by the gallon.

Standing in line a woman asked whose bag that was, slumped by the register, a dilapidated backpack that looked just the right size for a bomb or a head.  A grim man standing a fair ways off growled nobody touch it, that it was his.  Biffy and I drifted into cosmetics for a while, waiting until he got through the line.

Back at the register with our chocolate, anti-depressants, and panty liners, the doors slid open and in stumbled a woman, eyes ringed with black, chocolate wine lipstick smeared well beyond the confines of her lips.  She was wearing an ancient fur hair.  "Cold out there," she said, her voice gruff as my dad's.

"Did you walk far?" I asked.

"I rode my bike," she croaked. She pulled up her black skirt to reveal sickly boots and pocked, jello-y flesh.  "See?  I got my pants on under these."  I saw no pants.  She ordered smokes.

"My God," said Biffy as we braced ourselves against the cold.  "Your ghost of Christmas future."

1 comment:

  1. I'm very much enjoying the bloggin's J Dane. Yippie!