Boiling a Frog

Target on a weekday afternoon. The natural gathering place of the 30ish yuppie woman with nothing better to do than her make-up. Traipsing around in a too-much for a weekday dress on too-tall for her tiny ass heels.

All I needed was a plastic laundry ball . . .

I waited at the entrance to the aisle of laundry detergent as one . . . two . . . four . . . six women cut me off to go into, out of, or past it.

Gender equality. Fucking swell.

I did circles around Proctor and Gamble until I spotted the little fabric softener ball I’d walked by three times.

By the second item on the list I was muttering under my breath.

Furniture coasters. Where the fuck are furniture coasters? Why are they not by the fucking furn . . . 

I was cut off, for the second time, by the same fat haus frau. I just wanted to get by, but she left her cart behind her crinkled ass to carefully examine some fold-out cloth bins.

I turned down the aisle behind me and went around. She shoved her cart out in front of me without looking. I slammed to a halt. My laundry ball rattled around all by itself.

The couch coasters were in housewares. I found them by accident, looking for duct tape. I tossed them in the cart and forgot the tape.

I rolled slowly down the main highway by the groceries. I paused, briefly, by a freezer full of Tito’s and Bacardi. My throat was dry.

I am the best me I can be . . . I am the best me . . .

Even if that guy is still an asshole.

There was a rack of club soda nearby. I backed up slowly and headed toward it. Lime. Lemon. Orange. GO!

I wasn’t looking for a thirty-day token. Just cutting it out on the weeknights. Let my insulin sensitivity get back to normal. Let my tolerance wane.

. . . I am the best me I can be.

Compulsive. Violent. Scofflaw. Not to mention “sexual deviant”. At least it wasn’t pathological. Not by the DSM standard.

I braced myself for the line at the registers. The shortest form of Hell was directly behind two moms. Both with newborns strapped to their chests.

Both of them rocked back and forth, bouncing on the balls of their feet to keep their little fuck-trophies quiet.

Neither woman had an ounce of fat on her. No muscle, either, but no fat. Yuppie luxury. Stepford Mothers. I didn’t bother looking at my watch. I just leaned on my cart and stared at the soda cooler.

Is this really the life that people aspired to? Folding baby clothes neatly into a plastic bag? Shuttling children around in their Audi Q-mobiles?

My head hurt. I thought about the .357 nestled against the sweat in the small of my back.

What would these women do if I pulled it and put a hollow-point through my brain at 1450 feet-per-second?

Expansion. Secondary cavitation. Over penetration.

. . . Clean-up on aisle four.

Would they panic? Would they be traumatized? “Not tonight, honey, I have post traumatic stress . . . Let’s just watch Game of Thrones, instead . . . ”

A tall blonde with a lip ring rattled me out of my fugue.

“Sir, I can take you over here . . . “

” . . . Swell.”

This is my life, and I’m ending it one minute at a time.