off into the sideways light

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I stopped at the post office on my way down to the pharmacy. There was a very tall fat young man in there who was laboring to open a package before leaving the building. His hair was curly brown. His clothing was at least loose for his fatness. As I got my key to my box I realized I'd picked the wrong moment to commit to picking up my mail.

He'd farted and it was woozy-making to breathe.

This brought the memory of my best high school friend's older brother, though he'd never done that to me. It reminded me of his complete inability to make love, how his idea of marital relations consisted of grabbing one roughly and pounding his face in for a kiss so hard it would both bruise and scrape the face.

This was sex enough to break him into a full sweat and would immediately be followed by a rough entry from which there was for real outright no escape, maybe three hard pumps and then loud snoring.

So, on the drive south, behind RV bozos turning off for their overnight parking hookups every quarter mile or so, perforce way below the speed limit, I had to open my moonroof and windows to help blast the last of those foul ions from my respiratory system and the awful wondering if my school friend's brother managed ever to find a life partner.

Of course, finally at the pharmacy, there was a line and one clerk working the inside register and the drive up window. This was my second trip for the same prescription after having left plenty of time for the refill to have been transmitted. Beyond even holding a grudge for this kind of shit happening more often than not, the clinic and the pharmacy taking turns not taking responsibility, I just stood there with my little cans of on sale tuna and box of tissues, behind an old man squinting to read a newspaper insert for sale items, and a somewhat younger man who thankfully was not feeling flatulent or fidgety.

I stood in line with my mind blanked zenly, noticing distantly the music system had updated their playlist, when from behind came the heaving approach of a drama queen at the pharmacy, a very not rare occurrence there. You already know all about this. It's that not rare around anything to do with medical needs. I did not turn.

The overacting whale parked herself so close behind me her drama breaths and moans came as through stereo headphones, and her groans of agonized impatience with every hitch in the poor clerk's work, every need to update a discount card or add an insurer to the system was accompanied by plastic pitiful groans in my forced headphones.

I did not wheel around and belt her. I would not kindly offer her my place in line. I was not going to be bullied by another one of these fucking calculating food whores who'd rather make everything worse for everybody than to practice a split second's stoicism. She was desperate for her medication so she could get back in her car and stuff more Big Macs into her greasy face.

No. I did not turn around.

I conducted my business and only saw her with my meatspace eyeballs after I turned from the counter to leave. A whale. A prime drama queen whale. Everyone around a suffering bipedal drama queen whale of either sex has to endure the torture of its hate and greed cranking out its very pores to manifest its screaming desire for accommodation. It will not stop until it is accommodated, or frustrated so completely it gives up when it's finally at the front of the line.

So the drive back home was marked by no traffic whatever, a couple CHP turds trying to be inconspicuous near Pelican Bay, some Maxfield Parrish cloud action on the ocean side of the highway and some lavender mist bumping up against the mountain range on the other, and many cows placidly but studiously grazing on the green green grass on either side of the road.

pipe up any time....