On line at a grocery store, a woman with a pierced eyebrow and white earbuds in her ears talks into the hands-free receiver attached to an iPhone jutting out of a back pocket of her blue jeans. Her voice is by far the loudest sound in the store, and all the other people on line, and the three cashiers, listen to what she says without even wanting to.

“When I was hitting her,” she says to whomever she is talking to, “she was just looking at me like, ‘What are you doing?’”

Heads cock. One of the other people on line has a toddler sitting in the basket of her shopping cart.

The woman continues: “No, no, no. I mean, I would have hurt her. I would have hurt her. I would have put her on the floor and left her on the floor. No one’s gonna touch my face. You gonna touch my face? Get the fuck outta here!”

She must have a bad connection. Why is she talking so loudly?

“I woulda put her on the floor and left her on the floor.”

Behind her, an elderly man with a zipper-shaped scar spanning his right cheek shakes his head and emits a deep sigh.


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