I slip into line for the self-checkout at the grocery store behind the single woman waiting there. Another woman comes up on my left, fine, good, but then yet another woman, this one pushing a baby carriage with the exhausted obliviousness of the tired, working mother, comes up on my right and stands there, staring at her phone.
As the woman in front of me goes to the next open machine, I can feel my chest tightening at the thought of the conflict to come: the maneuvering, the faux polite attempts to ascertain who got there first, the passive-aggressive "After you," "No, after YOU"s.
A machine opens up and I dart over to it and begin hurriedly scanning my food as a guy walks up to the about-to-unfold melee and says, "So, uh, which one of you is the back of the line?"
One year ago: The Nightmare of Eternal Return
Two years ago: That's What I Meant
Three years ago: New Carpet Meta
Four years ago: That First Simile Seems a Little Strong to Me, Too, But I Just Sorta Went With It