Supermarket Psychosis for Dummies

I was deep into the Supermarket – maybe a hundred feet from the entrance – right in the heart of the beast. It was busy. Grey-haired couples sloped by; arthritic legs and arms and weirdly angled heads, pushing shopping carts slowly but with purpose. Kids hung onto mums filling their silver wire vehicles with pre-packaged meals, chocolate and wine. Cheap wine; numbing the pain of the Saturday night marriage consummation re-run. Nowadays more extreme, but less satisfying.

Tired shop assistants handled the goods on shelving units stretching up into the sky. When two of them met, the conversation was solely about the whereabouts in time of their respective breaks. Shit work pays bills…only. Gossiping Pensioners swapped stories of recent ill health and death by the fish counter.

“He was only laughing that morning….   Shock to us all…  Doctor says I’ll have to have an operation…. Funeral… good turn out. Shame.”

The Tannoy cut the chatter with toned-down Nazi instructions for ‘all operatives’ to man the tills. Nobody moved in case they were sent to the front line and ground into chum under the weight of a trillion ready meals and gallons of cheap cider. The air turned to water. Faces moved along in symbiosis with the carts. Robot beings sent to watch me in the deep. I struggled breathing down here. They had to be avoided because the real powers on the surface were looking for me and guided these probes with their vehicles just to find out who was real. I was real. Yeah? No…get out.

I waded through the soupy water and pushed a cart away near the first signs of land in the vegetable aisle. “Fucking hunters,” I caught someone say. It was me. I was talking to them all as I passed their hideous raptor faces. Gripped my basket tight, then dropped it by the exit. In the car park the sky came down and I had to sit by a low wall to stop my head hitting the ceiling of the world. The cars coughed and wheeled around the narrow lands beyond the cash machines, searching for the unwary. Faceless drivers hunched over under the weight of the demonic orders they’d been given. It was all just a matter of time…

Light closed in.

When I opened my eyes again the sky was back to normal. A woman stopped to watch me sitting there, looking homeless and out of place right outside the Church of The Eternal Supermarket. I was just a heretic, not fit for prayer in the Temple. Best way.

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