I walked into Walgreens and veered left, down the cosmetic aisle. I had been to the store earlier and it was jammed then. I had seen the line at the prescription counter and figured that I would return later, I’d be passing by again. This time the parking lot was just as clogged. “Are they giving away money?” I said to myself.
So I veered left, hoping to bypass any crowd at the registers. You hang a left, walk to the end, hang a right, walk a little more, and you’re there. As I walked down the aisle, I saw a young woman standing in front of a shelf of cosmetics. She was standing and staring at the shelf and saying something. She was alone. There was a clerk behind her, a little further back, occupied with a cash register. The clerk didn’t seem concerned. I walked on, preparing to say, “Excuse me,” as I passed the woman. I looked for a headset, but didn’t see one. As I approached, I heard her saying, “Jesus Christ . . . shit . . . Jesus Christ . . . shit . . .” She just stood there, repeating the words, staring at the shelf. I forgot to say, “Excuse me.”
When I got to the prescription counter, there were no other customers and I made jokes with the pharmacist. As I left, I retraced my steps. Sure enough, the young woman was still there, though the clerk was now gone. This time, I walked one aisle over, but the cosmetic counter is low and I could see and hear her still saying, “Jesus Christ . . . shit . . . Jesus Christ . . . shit . . .” She did not appear disheveled or unkempt in any way. Moderately dressed, nothing abnormal.
I walked on out to the truck and took off, nearly getting clipped by someone trying to cut into a parking spot. “Maybe they’re all coming to see her,” I said to myself.
May 21, 2008