Ensign Dignity—my new identity—took a fall as I promptly slipped out of the dairy case and onto the floor. Flail skiing with sticks of Blue Bonnet in each hand, I slid beneath a pair of legs. Soccer mommy legs. One, two, three, four pairs of them.
With that many legs she’s either truly an alien or my intracranial VCR needs adjusting.
There’s no word really to describe the sound I made at that point. Perhaps in a later recounting of the scene, K’aison and I can find a Klingon or Andorian term that wholly depicts sufficient pain and humiliation.
The female, who miraculously held ground while executing an Olympic worthy performance of balancing on the equivalent of a pommel horse, while holding onto a bundle of baby boy—began to teeter.
The back of her free hand welded to her lips while her pupils—I saw at least six of them—dilated into a hue of meadow green with a splash of hazel. Her brown hair framed a face that was contorted between anguish and hilarity. Her glasses reflected my bald heads as moons. It dawned on me that she was waiting to see which emotion was appropriate.
My engineering nature could be a curse. Details overwhelmed me. But now, a Cub Scout troop was hammering tent spikes into my brain with any hard object they could find. I blinked and blinked again.
Stacey leaned over me, her scent intoxicating and blonde braids caressing my face. Blue lagoon eyes pour into my soul.
“Are you all right? Can you hear me?”
It was the voice of an alto, not the melodic soprano of Stacey Stull. That meant one thing. Hallucination.
I popped up and whacked my forehead in a pinball action between the bottom of the grocery basket and the floor, ending with a snap back to reality. Imagining grid lines imprinted on my forehead, I tried to erase my embarrassment.
The not-Stacey gal made eye contact. “You passed out. Might have a concussion. Look here. This way, at the light.”
I don’t want to stare into the light. That was how Carol Anne’s life took a turn for the weird in that movie Poltergeist.
I turned and sure enough, a fine mist hit my eyes, stinging and burning.
Great. I supposed I was getting maced.
“Sweetie peadie, he’s not a plant. Put away your spray bottle. Oh honey, that was mommy’s rubbing alcohol.”
I so wanted to beam out.
by Matthew Daley