at the checkout Mrs. X, in her slippers and curlers, grabbed me by my ear and tugged hard. “Thief,” she hissed.
she thought i’d stolen scratch tickets and there was nothing i could do to convince her otherwise; i had not choice, i moved where she tugged. fortunately the cashier saved my skin.
Mrs. X was a large woman whose body had settled into her ankles.
she no longer could wear shoes; edema pitted the skin above her worn slippers.
fluorescent lighting flickered above the dusty aisles in Lukie’s store.
a blue truck motored quietly past, the bed full of split cedar. the man driving wore a plaid loggers jacket and a skull cap. the blue of the truck was more silver than blue but there was no shine. the truck was that old.
he looked at me hard.
at the drugstore i patrolled the make-up aisle for thieves, most of which were teenaged girls.
the book rack spun; brightly coloured pulp fiction flashed.
a red-haired girl special-ordered foreign fashion magazines.
Alan had a gimp leg and wore a black prosthetic shoe, thick-soled and heavy.
he rode his bike through town, a large basket with empties he’d picked from the side of the road rattled on the handlebars.
“you guys leave me alone,” he said. most of his voice was in his nose.
drunk and laughing, they stomped, bending the wheels of his bike.