from memories of a counter-girl

ancient guy comes in, deafened, oblivious, robotic… going through the motions of some long-learned ritual, off to the drycleaners, something to do.

he probably lives at the assisted living center nearby. it’s just so depressing, his being so old and so barely there, in a perpetual daze, but driven to perform this routine as if it’s something he’s been obligated to continue, as though it’s an essential requirement of his remaining humanity. i imagine with terror myself at an impossible age, spaced out, mumbling incoherently, at the checkout counter with cans of cat food, though all the cats themselves are long gone, addicted to the act of going out for cat food at odd hours… and my apartment is stocked with hundreds of cans of a variety of brands and flavors because even the fading memory of my passed-on companions is finicky.