[response to “sweep eep epe eeep eep eep chirp…”]
I pick up a container of hummus on sale and bring it to the check out. I’m behind two couples, one old, one young. The old couple are buying a rotisserie chicken. The young couple have a cheeseplate and a bottle of wine.
The cashiers are all dressed in ugly Christmas sweaters worn without any irony. My cashier has been working here for as long as I can remember. She is tall but has a girth to match her height, and wears too much blue eyeshadow. Her hair is teased and sprayed into a beehive, and her sweater has bells and pom-pom reindeer leaping from the gold button line that marches down the middle. I look up and down the line and the other check out women (they are all women) look the same. I feel like an alien.
“Merry Christmas,” the woman says after I pay for my hummus.
“Happy holidays,” I reply.