I went to the Super Walmart this evening to do some grocery shopping. I had eaten, was cooling off and had on my Crocs. It wasn't like my usual Walmart experience.
As I pulled into the parking lot, I realized I was calm, relatively cool and suddenly went to a different plane. I was now super calm, super observant and focused on observing my experience. I was in Walmarditation, which is like meditation, but instead of letting your mind go blank, your mind opens and you become a disinterested observer. It's like an out of body experience, while pushing a shopping basket.
As I walked towards the door, two women were conversing in the parking lot, while a handful of children orbited around them and their carts. They were discussing their chicken-rice recipes. As I thought of this, I realized how wonderful their recipes must be. After all, what else but perfection could compel you to speak of such things in a parking lot where the temperature was near 100 degrees. I continued towards the door while they continued to block the traffic trying to park.
I reached for a basket, and carefully checked the wheels for locked bearings and flat spots. I wanted my experience to not have the distraction of a constant thumpity-thump. I failed to notice the half melted, partially wrapped Three Muskateers until after I had reached the tomatoes on sale near the door. Instead of my usual irritation, I calmly thought: "Oh well, I suppose the other half must have kept some basket rodent from pulling things off the shelf"
I put a handful of the tomatoes in a bag. As I bagged the tomatoes, I wondered how many runny nosed crack-heads had fondled the tomatos after scratching their sweaty crotch. It didn't bother me. I was in Walmarditation and knew chlorine bleach would stop the spread of infection.
I wandered through the store and checked off my small list. Instead of my usual problems, I only encountered one women with a motorized buggy pulling a cart. She was unsure of a purchase, so she shifted between forward and reverse while she made the decision. The back-up alarm chirped as she rocked and decided. I carfully navigated around her aisle block and continued with my shopping.
As I passed the entrance aisle, a frantic women almost took off the front of my basket. She looked as though some Xanax would help. I smiled and continued on my way. Right beyond was a grandfather with a grandchild that was having a hard time comprehending that "get out of the way", meant "get out of the way". He looked at me for a reaction. I smiled and nodded as I passed. I had no words of wisdom.
I was finally through, so I went to the speedy check-out and waited behind a young man with a gallon of milk. The couple at the check-out kept looking around nervously. They had at least 40 items and were nervous because they knew I knew. Instead of my usual anger, I observed them as they hurried and continued to be nervous. It was as though my focus was punishing them for their arrogance. I felt a power and knew that one word of anger would cause them to run screaming from the store. I casually ignored them and watched as they scurried away.
My experience was almost over. As I walked through the parking lot, a cautious Grackle scampered under a car with a chicken bone in its beak. There was nothing left to eat, so its prize was only a trophy of a meal it never had.
Right before I reached my truck, a small car pulled into the adjoining space. It was an older model compact, with a visqueen and duct tape back window. Everything the occupant owned was crammed in every space available. The only space left was where the driver sat. I wondered where they would put anything they bought.
I knew my experience was ending, so I hurriedly drove across the parking lot towards the exit. As I watched a driver run a stop sign, and my reaction was "What a dumbass" I realized my Walmarditation was over. I was back.