My last trip to the offy

Done with the quick laid-back shopping where you idly grab a chocolate bar with crunchy caramel, a bunch of cheese wrapped in red wax and a packet of those little scampi & lemon flavoured fries stuff that no one knows the name of. You don’t even know what you will get before entering the shop, you’ve been driven by your instincts. And your instincts fancy a quick fix, a sugar rush, caramel stuck in your molars, salt on your lips, sticky fingers and a distant headache after this disgraceful feast along a content feeling. You had what you craved for. You were addicted to those late trips to your local off licence, wearing nothing but comfy pyjamas and Birkenstocks. No one to judge you in an off licence, everyone you cross paths with is doing the same as you. You just have to glance at their arms – no one is using a metallic basket in such a place, you’re not here to linger, except some strange people from time to time doing their real food shopping – and notice a pile of random items they hold like an unwanted child. Anything to reach the £3 card minimum spend which is clearly the most annoying rule in the entire world. However, you know that a chocolate bar, a bag of sour candies and a pack of crisps will do. You can always add three clementines you didn’t even choose properly to reach the amount required while the shop owner waits, crossed arms over his chest, for you to decide if you want to give up your treasure or spend a little bit more. Because now you’re spending £4.59, and that wasn’t your initial plan. During the day, there is always an occasion to enter the small cluttered shop. If you join someone you’ll automatically stop by, to grab fours cans of Pilsner or two of IPA, it depends of the type of person you’re meeting in the park. When you arrive at the counter, the owner is always watching his little top right corner screen, not paying you too much attention, but enough to feel like you’re a human being, knowing that you could easily start complaining about your lack of sleep or the text you’re waiting from this guy you’ve just met. He would listen to you but, you’re not taking advantage of that, you end up giving a shy smile. About the screen, you always wonder what he’s watching all the time, you barely see the images and the sound is not coming clear. You must think to ask the next time you’re going back to the off licence.

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