It’s the end of the world and we’re going to the grocery store.
It’s the end of the world but we need chicken breast and a fresh cucumber. I was halfway through making a salad last night and you popped a seedy slice in my mouth and it was bitter and rotten. Your betrayal prompted a new grocery list. These tiny betrayals are what make up the infinite temporary we live in: empty promises and bitter fruits. I add peaches to the list. They are growing wild now as far north as New Jersey.
It’s the end of the world and we don’t put ice cream on the list but we buy it anyway. It’s the hottest summer ever, everywhere. We buy the Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked we only eat when we’re stoned. The freezers are working but the dairy shelves are empty. The power went out again last night and curdled all the yogurt and cream.
It’s the end of the world and we have been eating too much takeout. Popcorn shrimp and weakly spiced curries on minute-made rice. An old friend from high school told me that relationships are just asking each other what you want for dinner until one of you dies. This same friend thinks that global warming is a hoax, even after their house burned along with half the state. I don’t hear from them much anymore.
It’s the end of the world and we are constantly planning meals that leave us hungry. Is it silly to try and lose weight in the apocalypse? Regardless, it’s habit. Just beneath the innate desire to live is the desire to shrink. We watch zombie movies during dinner and I watch the arms swinging machetes, toned and lean and shining. Envy bubbles acidic in my throat.
It’s the end of the world and the grocery store is always cold. I shiver when I touch the metal cart. There’s a warning about coupon fraud tacked to the front and I want to rip it out. Let them make coupons. Let them buy cake.
It’s the end of the world and we wait in line for self-checkout behind a woman and her two children, their cart laden with juice boxes. The grocery store employees stand around waiting for the machines to malfunction, grouped up chatting by the cage of bright rubber balls. Everything feels familiar. Nothing is out of place. We get a coupon on our receipt that tells us to come back soon for half-off Nature Valley granola, and I know we will be.
It’s the end of the world and the ice cream is already starting to melt.