Last night at the grocery store, as Jackson was trying to run my driver’s license through the credit card machine and I was struggling to keep him from (a) falling off the check writing thingy and (b) canceling my whole transaction, the guy who bags the groceries smiled at both of us and said, Paper or plastic? The bag guy: a little scruffy, and tall, and in no hurry. Also, about nineteen years old. Jackson is wiggling like a mother now and I have three bags full, and when our guy says most capably, Do you need help getting out to your car? I think, You need to come with us. I say, That would be great. He is so ready to help, I could probably suggest lots of things and maybe he’d say okay. He picks up our bags and walks out with us. Jackson is brandishing my driver’s license. He throws it into the street. Tallboy bends to pick it up, shyly gives it back to me. Carefully loads the bags into my trunk and closes it. I would eat him alive, there’d be nothing left but teeth and hair. He’s not ready to go back in to work, but I’m not going anywhere but home. He and Jackson wave bye to each other. Jackson sits in his car seat and sings his favorite song. Hey baby, hey baby, hey. I have been flirting with a stranger. And it makes me happy for a little while.


Operating System Credit Card Grocery Store Favorite Song Midlife Crisis 
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© Alan Graham and Bonnie Burton 2004

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  • Kennedy

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