We weren't running, exactly. But we were walking pretty damn fast: you know that walk where you are *almost* running, but kind of straight-legged, and your ass is clenched real tight and you are swinging your arms like that's gonna help you move faster?
That kind of walk.
We got in the car, took a deep breath, and came to complete agreement. We needed bacon. Immediately.
A quick check of the cellphones, and I pulled out of the (
Let's just say I used my signal when I pulled out of the driveway.
We headed directly to the closest (okay, you got me - the only) Whole Foods, and made a beeline for the hot food bar. Sadly, there was no bacon. But there was sausage. And when you are fresh out of the correctional center parking lot, you just can't afford to be choosy when it comes to organic pork breakfast products. So I ate sausage. A lot of sausage.
(That came out kind of wrong. But I think we all know what I mean.)
And after we were finished wiping our shiny chins and slurping our mochas (mine peppermint soy, her's organic dark chocolate) we had a few more errands to run.
Like, I needed my Xanax prescription refilled.
After being assured by the pharmacist that my prescription was A. not ready and B. not able to be refilled twice in the same day, we headed off to the local mexican grocery store because people, I had some jamaican beef patties to make in a few hours, and I needed some Goya products.
When we walked in to the small shop, the shopkeeper was ducked down behind the counter watching something on a small black and white monitor. He jumped up when we walked in, and frankly I was half expecting his pants to be around his ankles or something, his reaction was so startled. I wondered if we were perhaps his only customers......ever. The products on the shelves were a strange hybrid, nothing was priced, and they didn't have the ingredient I was looking for anyway, so I thanked him and we headed back out the door.
"You live around here?" he asked suddenly. We stopped in our tracks.
"We live upcountry."
"Oh, you live in the country! That's nice! You like to read?"
"Sure..... we read."
"Here, I give you some books, You read, then pass them along, okay?"
Suddenly I was juggling an armload of hardcover books with cryptic but clearly spiritual titles. What the hell was this? A cult? Was the store a front for some cult? Shit, man, I just needed some corn wrappers. I was starting to feel a little panicky. God, I could really use a Xanax.
"Thank you!" I said with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. "This is great! I will be sure to read them and pass them along to other people who also like to read. Wow. This is just so nice of you!"
And I started to edge towards the door.
Once we had reached the safety of the parking lot, I threw the books in the backseat and started the engine.
"What the HELL was that?"
"That store is a front for something. I don't know what, but there is no way that is just a grocery store."
"What was he watching on the TV behind the counter?"
"I do NOT want to know."
As we pulled out of the parking lot, he came running towards us, holding a package.
"Oh for fuck's sake." I braked and rolled down the window.
"Is this what you were looking for?" he asked, breathlessly.
He was holding a package that was printed in spanish, but featured a photograph of exactly what I was making that day. Holy shit.
I pulled back into a parking spot and got out.
"I found these in the freezer. You can just have them. I don't know how much they cost."
"No." I said firmly. "I will pay for them."
"No, is okay." he insisted. "I get you another package."
I followed him back inside his store, and thrust a handful of dollar bills at him. "Here, I insist. Thank you so much." He stared at the bills, and then reluctantly accepted them. He didn't seem to know how to use the register, so he put the money down on the counter.
"So.....okay then. Uh.....Thank you." I backed out the door while he smiled and waved at me cheerfully.
I hopped back in the car and threw the packages on the floor.
I really needed to get the hell out of town. So we did. And when we got back to the country, we ran smack dab into a cowboy and some car trouble. But I'll have to tell you about that later.