My local mini-mart didn’t give me a receipt

As I write to you, I am not in a positive frame of mind.

I have cordoned off a small space for myself in the northeast corner of my study. I am sitting on the floor, slowly rocking myself back and forth. The rhythm helps me to remember that the river of life keeps flowing, that in those clear waters there may yet be purification, absolution, or at least another adrift soul who will provide me with the soft empathy my sorrow needs, if it is to retreat. Sometimes I don’t know.

The door is locked. I have been here for almost twenty minutes. My family must wonder if I have wasted away. If I have not yet, then surely soon, as the pain I feel from oblivious customer service corrodes at the last rubbles of my fortitude. I can’t allow my children to see me like this. I’ve not the strength to guide them, now. I only hope that when I’m gone, they will lead the fight for change in my memory, besieged and forlorn.

How ironic that the epistles of our broken lives are writ upon such small, unreceived scraps of paper, when the horrors they tell are inscribed upon us in cold, hard stone.

The source of my despair is still at his station, I bet, blithely scanning his customers' sale items, wantonly receiving their money, and casually providing them their change.

I wonder how he feels. Has the regret kicked in yet? Has he come face-to-face with the implications of his misconduct? Has he considered the human cost, and does not shame consume him?

Or does he still wage warfare on his customers? Does he yet still cut away at his loyal patronage, recklessly denying their God-endowed right to a complete record of their transactions? I wonder, what polite lie has he told himself that enables him to tease our expenses?

He does not finish his business with me, yet he closes on his bargain with The Devil!

Wait, my liege. My dejection recedes. Something within me now stirs. All at once I hear the beckoning of the silent multitudes. They seek my tale. They hunger for retribution. They elect me to lead the cause of reprisal, yea, the exposure of this obtuse, neglectful merchant, and to upload it to Facebook.

They are fortunate, my electronic spectators, for my cellphone camera speaks naught but truth.

Be warned, for now my anguish turns to fury. Go will I in the morrow to that godforsaken storefront of misdeeds, the Quick Mart on Beacon. I shall seek this errant man, the wretch who did not fulfill me with a receipt for my beef jerky and malt liquor beverage. I shall approach him as the vinegar begins to boil over in my veins. As God watches over me, so will I over him, and he will know that as I do, a legion of internet enthusiasts does so as well. He will cower, he will shrink, he will seek refuge behind his counter of imbalance.

I shall stand over him. I will conquer him with reason, zeal, a mind of utter clarity. Failing that, I shall attack him with tribal epithets. And he will supplicate to me, begging me to allow him the opportunity to set right his callous sin of omission. When I have received my just compensation, then I shall turn the cellphone to myself, as the huzzahs and hoorays of my Facebook beloved ring out over bluff and peak, ravine and canyon. When they ask me to give closure to our triumph, I will stand erect yet impassioned, just like they taught me in modeling school, and I will give them their statement:

“By the hand of the Almighty, by the guidance of His divine spirit, I have received my free churro and Dr. Pepper. I claim this victory, not for myself, but for all those still suffering, those who still mourn for their loss of printed proof of their purchases. Your salvation is coming, as my sacrifice will lead you from out of the darkness. I accept your glory, Facebook. I accept your thanks. And now I must go, and watch as the internet depicts my selfless heroism throughout the rest of our days.

“You’re welcome.”


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