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you are waiting in line like you always do, at the bank at the DMV at the movies, only this time you’re holding a jug of milk you won’t drink and a bag of apples, nameless and bland and smaller than your fist, so maybe you’re at the grocery store but it’s not really one of those, it’s an ironically titled supermarket whose ‘superiority’ must be evident in the pre-bagged produce. you contemplate a candy bar or a pack of gum but candy is for children and you’d chew the gum just for something to do, something rhythmic and methodical for when you’re waiting in line. the person in front of you, always an old lady how is it always an old lady, is she really paying in change of course she is because this is a commercial, about how life has shortchanges and boring moments so get through them by chewing this self-declaring new-and-improved gum and there is always an old lady to symbolize the frustration and the mediocrity of waiting in line at the less-than-supermarket, but good thing this isn’t really a commercial, it’s just you and this old lady and the cashier who looks tired and bored and you think about offering her a stick of gum, a clever line perhaps, and a smile, only you don’t have any gum and this old lady is never going to be done waxing on the good old days when eggs were three cents and protein was something you found in meat, not powder and if you had the extra bills you’d shove them into her hand and insist she keep her change, she’s obviously never been ready for change. but then she’s done, her eggs are bagged and she’s gone and you bus your milk and apples down...

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