It’s been a while since I posted, but I have a good excuse. I published the newest issue of Lunch Ticket, did the last stuff I needed to do for my grad school residency, and drove down to Los Angeles.
I’m down here for ten days at a time, and I’ve gotten fairly good at packing. But I’ve never been so good at packing that I haven’t forgotten something crucial and had to hit the Target near the school.
Being in Los Angeles is kinda nice. It’s anonymous. Back home, I see people I know everywhere – at the supermarket, at the gym, at every restaurant I frequent. Here at this Target, nobody knows me. It’s like being invisible or wearing a mask.
I took my purchases up to the bank of registers, but out of twenty or so registers, only four were open, each with a line of at least five people. Everyone shifted from foot to foot, looked at each other, thumbed their phones. The woman in front of me looked at the long lines off to our right and remarked to her husband that she hated this Target because it was always crowded. As I turned my head to look at the crowd, a tall Native American-looking man two registers over turned toward me. His mouth dropped open, and he reached up with one hand, as though about to point to the ceiling.
The man’s shorter brother put an arm around the man’s back, and as his hand encircled the taller man’s waist, the tall guy’s head began to shake. His arm twitched, and his legs folded under him. With a practiced motion, the brother gently guided him to the ground.
That’s when I noticed that the brother, who now stood guard over his shaking, drooling sibling and told