21 June 2008

The Old Woman and Her Son at Walmart

She is at the end of the aisle. Her grown son is patient for awhile as he speaks to her, occasionally glancing at his fellow shoppers. He begins to shift his weight back and forth from foot to foot. “You don’t need children’s folders,” he says as she flips from puppies to kittens, to teenage pop stars.
“I need them,” she says. “I need to put things in them.”
He walks away as if he is moving toward the checkout, but he returns. “You don’t have anything to put in them.”
“Where are the paperclips? I need paperclips.”
Both of his hands are on her shoulders. He tries to calmly push her along, but she is bolted to the end of aisle 19. Exasperated he raises his hands and drops them. “We didn’t come for a stuff on clearance, mother.” His voice narrows to a hiss.
“I have things I need to put in folders,” she says, tottering involuntarily to the cashier.

folders from display
falling to the retail floor
knocked under the shelves

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