Wednesday, October 31

The Mining Town Supermarket

It had been a long day. A really, really long day. Again. Lately every day felt like it was longer than the last. Which would have been bearable Sally were able to get more done. Instead it seemed like she was constantly achieving less and less. All the while her to do list was growing at exponential rates. She knew that life wasn't meant to be easy but she didn't understand why it had to be so damn hard all the time either.

Taking a deep breath she tried to regain some composure. She could feel herself beginning to crumble and more than anything she didn't want that to happen. Standing in what felt like the longest line in the history supermarket checkouts, with what was possibly the slowest operator since time began was not the time to burst into tears over the crapness that was her life.

With there still three people in front of her, two of which had rather full trolleys, Sally wondered whether she really needed what was in her basket. It never ceased to amaze her how supermarkets had endless checkouts, yet there was never more than one or two open at a time.

While she may not have had much to buy it was her dinner and fresh milk for coffee in the morning. Neither of which she really wanted to go with out. Especially the milk. She went with out coffee this morning and it was a less than perfect start to what turned out to be a far from pleasant day. She really didn't want to start tomorrow the same way. As it was her life felt like groundhog day, without her aid.

Sure the was still time stop on the way home and grab a bite to eat at the local diner, but they didn't sell milk. She was not going home without milk and that's all there was to it. Thanks to the size of the town she lived in there wasn't even another supermarket that she could go and try her luck at, which was probably why there was only one checkout open with the world's slowest operator on it where she was.

Sighing she slowly shuffled forward. One trolley down, one hand basket and another over flowing trolley to go and it was her turn. At least now she was close enough to grab a magazine and flick through it in the hope that time would pass quicker.

Nearly twenty minutes later she was finally on her way but at least she had milk and there was now a chance that at least tomorrow could start better than today. At least it couldn't start any worse. Since tomorrow was Saturday, with meant no work and possibly a little lie in, and now having milk the day was actually shaping up quite nicely.

Walking down the road towards home Sally could feel the heaviness in the air. It hadn't rained for months now. A layer of red dust seemed to cover everything, hovering, waiting for the next object to stick to. It was the one thing that really drove her insane. She longed for the rains to come and wash it all away, taking with it the stifling heat that even after the sunset would linger until the early hours of the morning and returning the moment the sun rose.

Even after five years of living there she still couldn't adjust to the ridiculous weather at this time of year. The nights were nearly as hot as the days and the seemingly endless wait for the relief of coolness that would come with rain. Of course within two months of the rain starting to fall she would then have to start worrying about flooding. Mother Nature sure could be a bitch about things at times, there was no doubt about that.

Opening the front door to her boxy little unit Sally was greeted by a gush of warm air that was desperate to escape the walls it had spent the day invading. Turning on the fan she hoped the blades would quickly move the stillness about and cool things, if only by a degree or two. At least it would be something.

Picking her shopping bags up she trudged through to the kitchen, on the way turning on lights and more fans as she passed by the switches. Momentarily contemplating turning the air conditioner on she decided against. As much as it might bring relief it would also cost a fortune and just make tomorrow seem even hotter.

Truth be told she had never really been much into creating such false environments. She couldn't see how it could be good for the body. How could it ever acclimatise to the heat if she kept subjecting it such drastic changes?

Plonking the bags down she opened the fridge and pulled out a beer. Enjoying the blast of coldness that came with opening the fridge door. Once again finding herself consider the air conditioner, even if just for a little while.

Twisting the top of the beer bottle she swigged down the icy cold liquid. Gone were the days where she elegantly sipped expensive champagne from crystal glasses. Living in the middle of no where, surround by rough and tumble miners she quickly learnt to adjust. As an environment protection officer amongst miners, life was hard enough. Being a woman added to that ten fold. There was no need to stand out further by drinking the likes of Don Perignon.

Not that the local bottle shop sold such luxuries anyway. Sally was actually that they even had any champagne on the shelf. However after sampling both brands they had she quickly decided to find a new beverage of choice. At least beer was relatively cheap, drinkable and helped her fit in just a little. Well as much as her highly educated, big city living self could fit into a narrow minded, close knit and very small mining town could.

More coldness and another moment of relief as she opened the fridge door again to put the milk away and look at what she could add to her shopping for dinner. She had purchased a big juicy T-bone to cook up but could no longer be bothered. Between the heat and the lateness of the evening she was fast losing interest in eating. Another swig of her beer and she found herself putting the meat in the fridge as she headed to the cupboard in the search of a tin of baked beans.

Finding none she decided that eating was over rated and headed to the couch with her drink. She could recall her father saying 'there is a steak and two eggs in every can' referring to his beloved beer as her mother harassed him for not sitting down to eat a meal with them at the dinner table. She hated it at the time but now understood. A few more beers and she wouldn't need dinner either and chances were pretty good she would forget how hot and uncomfortable she was.

After an hour or so of channel surfing and more beers it was finally bed time. Sally picked her weary self up out of the couch and trudged down the hall to have a shower and then send herself off to the land of sleep.