Monday, July 30, 2007

Sting Was Screaming In My Ear; Peanuts! a short fiction

I needed to go by the square. DD came along with me. It was like old times. Timeless and aimless. We turned a corner off the square and found the store I needed to visit. Remember when this place used to sell fresh hot peanuts? Not really. It was back in the late Eighties. I didn't think you liked peanuts back then. Sure. Who doesn't love hot peanuts? People that are allergic to them. Man; I'd love some of those peanuts again. Come on. We walked back around the corner. Are you ready to go back in time? What? I'm serious. Concentrate on 1989 and follow my lead. I led DD back around the corner and my only thought was of peanuts.

We could smell it before we hit the sidewalk. The fresh peanut smell wafted up by a summer breeze. The store front had changed. Fake bricks had been replaced by peeling white painted boards. A small sign that simply said NUTS was nailed above the door. It gave off a ring as I went inside. DD remained outside. Inside it was just as I remembered.

It was grungy. The hot peanut smell dominated the place. Snacks hung on shiny steel coils by the cash register. You could see the square from a window behind the counter. Long vanished stores appeared in the shimmery afternoon heat. I strained my eyes to see a calendar on the wall in a corner. August 1989. A tiny Asian lady was behind the counter. I'd like a bag of peanuts. She said okay. And then she began to ask me about my life. Questions such as why was I wasting it? What was my future process plan? At this moment; all I want is a bag of peanuts.

The bell rang. DD walked in. I give up. I'll take some peanuts too. The lady put the bag on the counter. That will be $14. O....kay. Now I remembered why this grungy little store closed. Cheap nuts at gourmet prices. But; I hadn't journeyed to 1989 for nothing. I had a twenty in my pocket my wife had given me for some errand I had already forgotten. I pushed it across the counter top and the little woman looked at disdainfully. That money is not real. The President's head is too big. I'm not going to take that. You better come up with something real or I'll call the police. DD and I threw our American Express cards on the counter. It was no good. We hadn't had them since 1989.

We left the store and the past empty handed. We felt a little nausea as we returned to 2007. Around the corner and back and now the store front was fake brick with a guitar shaped sign above the door. I needed some picks. I browsed the guitars and found an Aria Pro Thor Sound just like the one I had played back in the punk rock band days. It even had some of the same stickers on it: Black Flag, Vision Skates, a mod target, and The Most. The clerks were obnoxious and into progressive metal. I slipped on peanut shells and knocked over a drum kit.

The end.

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