Then there is the irrational angry part; it pops out on a Friday after a respectable week of work. Arriving home I find myself keyed up, pumped a bit, ready for action. Ever since I quit drinking “ready for action” means I need to find a project or spend part of the night trying to sleep when I am not tired. Rolling around on the bed while picturing the taste of an icy beer wasn’t going to cut it tonight. The kitchen was missing a sink, there was no cabinet, the counter was lying across the dishwasher and a half assembled turnstile. Tonight was to be one of those epic evenings when dreams, actionable items and motivation all meet in one manic tornado of progress. Two hours later I am ready to strangle my girlfriend. The irrational thought crosses my mind multiple times that she has purposely hidden pieces of the many parts of this intricate project. The legs for the cabinet are missing, I find the power cord for the insinkerator, but the cover, drain sleeve and hardware are nowhere to be found. My level is buried somewhere under the clothes and kitchen utensils that have been moved into the garage to make room for the renovation that brought us to this point. Everything is almost ready for my needed project, but the fucking pieces are missing. I know she didn’t hide them, there is no reason rational or irrational for that, but the thought is cloying. In a simmering rage I decide against my better judgment to trudge forth into the night to the only available place to get tack nails, TSP, PVC etc. Pieces parts and minutia necessary to salvage this moment of tappable energy. I hate Walmart, it is both depressing and as a tangent debilitating. Being there makes me feel judgmental and despising of consumption. The idea of churning through mountains of disposable Chinese crap dances with the food displays being stalked by engorged Americans hell bent on food induced suicide. The electric carts are out in force propelling the engorged mechanically down the aisles as they rapidly pick off the herd of calorie caked food. A panic attack strikes me with force; the wave of building fear hitting a crescendo before I realize it is upon me. I feel a tremor in my body; I am both sick and despising, judging myself for judging those around me. This place makes me feel vile. $30 later and I have managed to live through the experience. My ghetto Walmart, a place to go when I want to be drenched in what I hate about America.
I find the legs to the cabinet when I place my keys on them upon walking back into the house. The stench of Walmart like that of a diseased whore is still on me and I feel a tad remorseful for spending even a moment in such a discouraging place. The lady that checked me out could have been my Mother – that is not the retirement I want for anyone, the ticking of the clock setting the cadence of the day as you bag others groceries and wait to die.
I don’t get past putting the legs on the table before a thirst rises and I jump back in the car for a quick trip to speedway for some pop. It seems like hours pass before I finally return. The place was madness. 10 customers turned into 30 minutes as a rush overwhelmed the elderly gentleman trying to eek out his nightly living. Everyone looks wasted, the 2 drunken bikers abusing formalities in demeaning ways – behind their eyes the story of speed and booze. Their voices add an exclamation point to their excess. The foursome that walk in, a bedraggled mop of upper middle class teens trying to look cool in that “I paid to look like a bum” way only teens celebrate. The heroin chic chick leading that band of rheumy-eyed stoners has a tear in her textured nylons. Her body and legs are too skinny, her voice too sharp, her boyfriend too stoned. I smile; this place in all its raw dank is comforting. I like the unruly kids, the wasted bikers, the loud-mouthed line. Leaving the parking lot I am blocked in – the parking lot is a hot mess of dumb people herded into the worst parking lot in downtown Phoenix. They jam ever more cars into a confined space for no reason other than to block each other in and make angry noises. God everyone looks and acts wasted. It takes sobriety to finally see the vulgar reality of a Friday night at the local gas station. Mess of humanity upon mess of humanity trying to make messes upon each other. No time for that, I have my own mess back at home to wreak havoc on.