First Draft Theater: The Shopping Trip

“You still wearing your ring…Well keep doing that and everything will be fine.”  All he had done was call and ask Julie if she needed anything from Wal-Mart and she tells him some guy at work has been sending her flowers.  She probably thought he was going to yell, but Phil didn’t yell.  He was driving.

He hung up the phone and put it in the cup holder.  He pulled into the parking lot dodging the other drivers most of whom thought their car made them indestructible.  Phil usually parked close to the same spot.  He liked to park on the second line going out of the parking lot.  It made it easier to get out on busy days.

He got out of his truck and as he walked towards the store a giant thumb and her two little thumblets came walking out of the doors.  They all had fluid blocks of flesh for bodies.  Their legs were like large corn cubs stuck to the bottom of a brick with tiny feet shoved on to the ends that barely moved and their arms were like thin sticks hanging of the side of a snowman.  Their heads were these short thin pyramids pushed down on top of the brick with sprouts of hair sticking out in all directions.

Looking at them, it made sense that some guy wanted to fuck Julie.  Pickings could be slim around here and she still had a tight little ass.  Two kids later and she still managed to turn heads.  He picked a good one.

Phil walked through the sliding door and was greeted with the cool dry canned air that smelled of floor cleaner, disinfectant, and bod odor.  Some top 40 music hit from sometime in the last 10 years kept playing loud enough to be heard over the din of people shuffling around being ignored by the barely above minimum wage part timers stocking shelves and aimlessly walking to any other part of the store where there weren’t customers.

Phil grabbed a buggy and a bunch of the cleaning wipes they kept near them.  He’s seen too many of these people and their kids picking their noses and poking their fingers and hands in other places on their bodies to not use whatever weak sanitizer he could.

His mind drifted back to Julie as he made his way to the razors, soap, and toothpaste.  He needed razors and shaving cream and Julie asked him to get soap and toothpaste.  He couldn’t remember which toothpaste the boys used.  He knew the brand he just couldn’t remember which of the fifteen types they made his two preferred.  It was enough of a pain to get them to brush in the first place.  If he shows up with the wrong one, he’ll just have to go back out and get some more or have his kids teeth fall out of their heads and have Julie snipe at him for a night.

As he stood looking at the wall of toothpaste he thought that might be why this dipshit thought he could fuck Julie.  Maybe she talked to him on some day that Phil did something stupid and talked about how much she hated him and wished he was different.  Maybe dude didn’t just dream this up on his own.  Maybe he thought she was signaling him to try.  Maybe she was.

Phil grabbed a couple of tubes of toothpaste and moved on to get the soap and razors before wandering to the other side of the store for the dishwasher detergent they needed.  He stewed over the fact that his wife might have egged on some poor dude at work by accident by telling him how shitty a husband he was.

He walked past the baby clothes and realized too much had happened that they didn’t talk about anymore for either one to leave the other.  He detoured back around to another part of the store.  Julie liked the scented candles they sold here.  She said they made her think of the beach trips they took before the boys were born.  He was going buy her a couple.  They would be a peace offering.  Show her there were no hard feelings.

Phil began to maneuver his way back towards the cleaning stuff.  So what if she told dude about any fights her and Phil had, it wasn’t an invitation to stick his pecker in her.  Where did he get off thinking that?  He thought about he would get her to tell him who it was so he could go to the store and they would settle this like men.  Phil would kick his ass to make sure he and any other guy at the store knew his wife was off limits.  That would settle the whole thing.

His phone rang again.  It was Julie.  “Yeah…I got the detergent…OK…Hey, what toothpaste do the boys use…Good.  That’s what I got…Yeah, I’ll get some.  Do we need any peanut butter…OK…Love you.”  Phil angled past the bread section to get a loaf on his way to the registers to pay and get out of this place.  He always did better in the fresh air and sunlight.

He went out through the same doors he came in through putting on his sunglasses to stave off the afternoon glare.  He moved past another family of thumbs and a little old man and little old woman who gave off the whiff of oncoming death.

Back in his car Phil took a deep breath and cranked his truck and backed out of the spot and headed towards the highway.  Sitting at the light he noticed Julie’s watch sitting in the arm rest.  Last night she said she lost it and he scolded her for being so absent minded.  She must have taken it off after church yesterday and forgot.  He decided to put it somewhere and let her find it.  Let her think she just left in the bathroom under something.  He didn’t want to argue or snipe at each other tonight.


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