nearly midnight

She felt her lungs collapse as she made
her way to the cool area of the cheese
aisle. Nothing else was on her mind except
to feel the ice-cold racks pressing against
the back of her thighs, though she continued
to pull at her unusually long hair bound
together. She exhaled only briefly until she
saw a man of thirty-four in strange winter
attire to her right who gazed upon the
massive wall of cheese. She caught her
breath and felt at ease by the mere act
of observing this pensive life form.

Upon the wall of cheese, the block marked
mozzarella caught the attention of the
gentleman with a cane and an oblong pink
wig. He stared for a moment, squinted his
eyes at the hanging eight-ounce bags, which
he ripped one off its hook to read ingredients
listed on the back. His eyes widened at the
reality of potato starch in his cheese, which
triggered the reaction to slide the bag onto
the hook from whence it came.

He gazed at the natural blocks of cheese
next to the hanging bags and contemplated
whether a whole or two percent milk block
would make a degree of difference. He
snatched the reduced calorie block and
furiously read its list on the other side.
With only four ingredients, free of potato
starch, he nearly twirled himself with glee.
He exclaimed softly, “That’s so awesome,”
without realizing there was a woman sitting
on the low dairy ledge watching him, almost
eager for an inclination to engage in a
conversation.

“What’s so awesome?”

The only thing on the gentleman’s mind
was the amount of toxins he’d been putting
in his body during the holidays so he
figured he would tell her of the good news
regarding the cheese’s low intoxicant list.
The woman’s facial muscles levitated for
a moment, then returned to an animate state.
She insisted, “What? I’m deaf. I need you
to talk louder if you’re going to tell me
what’s so awesome.”

“The cheese! It has no potato starch and
other ridiculous ingredients!”

She paused. “Wait, what? Who cares about
potato starch?”

“Isn’t it important to remember what we’re
eating and not to forget there are some
things in common foods that have such
harmful chemicals? Why not use more caution
in deciding how we fill our bodies?”

Her head tilted, then she exhaled heavily,
“Wow, that was such a tweet. Oh my gosh,
I’m going to have to tweet that. Remember
me though,” propping up her index finger,
“I’m going to be famous.”

The gentleman laughed as he turned away
to walk down the aisle. Before facing
the opposite direction, he stretched his
neck in her direction and said, “Ah, yes,
darling! And I as well, please do the same!”

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