Prompt 11/12/2010 i.e. Lauren and her new neighbors, the Campbells

Prompt: A scammer who pretends to be blind is in the long line at the supermarket. She takes note of all the thing she needs to buy. Her secret: Couldn’t believe that night was the third one she/he couldn’t sleep because of the weird noises come from the neighbor’s house.

Lauren adjusted her dark sunglasses but tried to keep herself from fidgeting.  Being at the all night grocery at 3 a.m. can bring out all the weirdos from the town.  She was use to the weirdos from her own town but the town 15 miles up the road had different weirdos. They looked funny. They acted funny. And yes, some of them smelled funny, like when you walked into a room right after someone just sneezed. That smell. That’s how the weirdos in this town smelled like.

And it’s not like Lauren had a choice to be at the grocery store in Ellington, 15 miles away from her warm, safe bed.  Since the Campbells moved into the apartment next door a month ago, it was more and more difficult to sleep. And it was getting more difficult to find things to do while she was waiting for the sweet relief of sleep. All the knobs in her tiny one-bedroom apartment had been polished.  The carpet vacuumed.  The clothes washed, folded and hung by season, color, and yes, size. Bills were paid and paid early. She had made enough advanced meals to save her from cooking for the next couple of weeks. Indeed, her apartment and her life we were already lived in.

So she decided to have adventures. It started off innocently enough. The occasional five finger discount at the Wal Mart.  The pump and drive at the gas station. One time, just because she was tired of the noises from the Campbells’ apartment, she relieved herself on their welcome mat. “Welcome this, you freaks.” She’d say under her breath before chuckling, zipping up her pants, and scurrying back into her apartment.  But that proved problematic when the police were called and all the neighbors were questioned. Damn those Campbells.

But after the adventures in Westchester dried up (the final being the first and last time she flashed an officer of the law) she decided to go some place new and where no one knew her.

Ellington had no Wal Mart, no all night gas station, and no patrolling police officers in the market to see exposed nipples. But they had an all-night grocery and she was food less since she cooked all of it and placed the creations in neat, plastic containers.

She so went shopping but midway through she had forgotten something.

“Damn it, my wallet’s at home.”

But instead of going back home and returning to her warm bed that sat next to the wall that separated her from the noisy Campbells, she picked the darkest sunglasses she could find on the rack—nice pair of aviators— and started walking, pushing her cart into things and people.  She knocked down a display of soda cans, and another of potato chips.  She ran over one of the weirdos who smelled like day old cheese and another that smelled like day old feet.  She asked random strangers for guidance with her grocery list — ham, cheese, spaghetti sauce, hamburger helper, etc.  She did all this until finally she was in line, her cart being emptied and sacked by the check out boy.

“That will be ninety-dollars, madam.”

“Okay.”

Lauren reached for her purse and pretended to look for her wallet. She handed the cashier her library card.

“This isn’t it. madam.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. It’s just that I can’t see.”

“How long have you been blind?”

Lauren began to cry. “Ever since the accident. My husband…my children….”

Her heavy sobs soon became uncontrollable  until finally the person at the cash register said: “It’s okay. I’ll just get rid of the receipt. You get on home.”

Before they had a chance to question how a blind woman was able to drive an F-150 in the middle of the night, Lauren was already on the interstate, the aviator glasses tossed out the window, and the beckoning warm bed only minutes away.

Now if the newlywed Campbells were done consummating their union for the night, Lauren could fall asleep quickly and be up in time for work.

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