Thursday, December 16, 2010

Grocery Line

A horrible thing happened.

I was waiting in line at C-Town, my local grocery store, and in front of me was a man with two shopping carts full of food. It was late, the store was closing, so I didn't have the option of switching lines, and therefore had to wait well over 20 minutes to buy one can of tomato sauce and a pepper. No, that's not the horrible thing.

The horrible thing wasn't the man in front of me, but the people behind me. Everyone was so agitated at this guy for buying his food that you could feel their eyes roll. You could hear their sighs. It was palpable, and they were all thinking the same thing.

"Poor Mexican."

Made my stomach hurt, seeing this middle aged man buying food, obviously for his family, and watching him get silently scolded by white kids. That's what we were - white kids. Then he took out his Benefit Card, hand shaking, face blushing, and someone chuckled.

Now my throat hurt.

But honestly, the real horrible thing wasn't the people behind me - it was me. It's the fact that under different circumstances, if I wasn't in a chipper mood, I could imagine myself being just as agitated. I could imagine my eyes rolling. I mean, no one likes waiting 20 minutes to buy tomato sauce and a pepper.

And I guess that's what's tough about life - when you're being horrible you don't always know it, but when you see someone else do it, you have clear eyes, a clear mind, and you can taste the dire details of a person you know are hidden deep inside of yourself.

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