Bookstore Poem #643

A true story. This happened to me this last Sunday morning.

The bitter taste at the back
is no match
for the coffee–sugar–milk concoction
sold mostly in the larger bottles
so you get a bigger buzz
and need it that much more later

Unfortunately, the effect is temporary
so you have to buy even more next time
because when you run out at 11:30 at night
they’re not going to open up the supermarket for you
so you can get just enough
to tide you over till morning

It’s not just the coffee–sugar–milk concoction
the humble bottle of shampoo
is another of their ploys
to ensnare you

First, the store where you normally buy it
closes for good

Next, the stores where you could get it in a pinch
(but otherwise avoided because they charged three dollars more)
stop making space for it on their shelves

On it goes, until finally
you’re driving 20 miles north on a Sunday morning
to hit every drugstore you see
so you can snatch up all their available inventory

By the time you get home
you’ve been to five stores (it feels like more)
within a 25-mile radius
and have accumulated nine bottles of the stuff—
simultaneously a pitiful haul
given the distance you travelled
and enough shampoo to last you probably two years
(three, if you don’t use it every day)

After all of that
you could really use
one of those coffee–sugar–milk concoctions…

(26  June 2019)

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