To the girl who stood behind me in line at the Union Street Market:
You are too drunk or high to realize that I’m being rude, but if you were to call me out on my rudeness, I would make the excuse that I have a lot on my mind.
I am contemplating the vulgarity of the world. I’m tense.
I’m trying to figure out how to sleep when people are dying and when not enough places sell vanilla Coke.
I wonder if you think about the same things.
You awkwardly reach around me to put your finger on a piece of packaging. You look at me and smile and laugh. As a pleasantry, I grin before moving forward in the line.
“You were holding this down,” you say, referring to the packaging. “I thought I’d help.”
I hadn’t realized that my hand was on the packaging. I was resting my hand there absentmindedly.
You try to start a conversation about the box. It holds several containers of energy shots. “You seemed very interested,” you say.
“I’m trying to go to bed soon. I don’t need any energy.” I’m hoping you don’t notice the hypocrisy of me buying a vanilla Coke.
“I should go to bed soon, too.” You say it as if you don’t mean it and know it.
I buy my vanilla Coke as you ask about the single blueberry bagel left on the counter. The cashier ignores your inquiry.
As I leave, you ask for a pack of Marlboros.
What kind of person are you like when it is not 12:30 am on a Monday night? What classes do you go to during the day? What kind of family do you have? What are you passionate about? What keeps you up at night?
These are the questions I mean to ask you. But it’s easier to box you in with the energy shots.