Lining up and watching the purchasing deliberations, the going back and forth, checking price. Being offered a new thing, something to protect the other, the thing they want. “Ah, maybe. We can get that later.”

Looking through the solid glass case. At rows of boxes, tiny little prices. Looking for one price yourself. The man and the woman with the purchase blocking your view. Talking about another add-on, discussing practicalities, high on their buy. You’re looking at the case. The woman looks back. I’m—you try and make sure they know. Woman, I’m looking at the case, not you.

–And how are you for batteries?

I’ve got my slim purchase on the counter. The power cable I said I’d get. How am I for batteries? I’ve got to—how am I? When was the last time I needed that?

–I’m fine, thanks.

Looking at the stacks of the slim canisters, sewn together with cardboard and plastic wrap. The display at the counter, in front. The stacked packages behind. “He’s just doing his job,” in my head, “he’s just doing his job.” Not angry at all, but I want. Sudden urge to pull down the display, scatter the packages, rip out their insides in one big electric gulp.

But that’s wrong and he’s just doing his job. He’s just doing his job. I’ve never done that before, and it’s wrong. He’s just doing his job.

My bag’s handed back, my own thing, the receipt. I exit the store.

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