Clean Up on Aisle 5

poem

We’re both 24, and I’m doing a balancing act with a stack of fresh fruit in my basket and a case of Newcastle under my other arm. I love you with what I’m capable of.

You don’t care about the prepositions. We’re trying to eat better. We’re not buying blueberries anymore because I read an article about child slave labor on Digg last week. “Till when?” you asked, and I said nothing.

I’m still buying pineapples, and we’re still eating those. Still drinking coffee that isn’t fair trade because it’s cheaper. No-one in this market knows I’m a junkie, not even you. My voicemail is full of menacing calls from debt-collectors. They’re paid to sound like that, and they’re not paid much more than those they menace, which can get you thinking - if you like to think about that kind of thing.

I owe more money to the type of people who don’t leave messages; one day they’re going to show up and take it. I hacked our downstairs neighbor’s wifi and next door’s cable line. I don’t feel guilty about stealing from time warner; I’m just trying to survive (on what I have left).

Other people subscribe to fitness magazines and read about the first long-distance runners who ran across the country in the late 1800s - before plutots probably existed. But not before someone could get an honest wage for an honest day’s blueberries.

Sometimes now, I’ll be standing in line, and I’ll remember when you sent me to the store with a list hidden in my jacket pocket that just read “you, you, you” the whole way down.

I’m still trying to bring that home.