Today's Interactions....


While out on an excursion to the bookstore today, sifting through thoughts on bound pages, my fingers managed to stumble over an anatomy and physiology text book that was pressed between the various study aides strewn throughout the shelves. I grabbed it with expressionless enthusiasm and made my way over to the register to purchase it along with the other books I had selected. The woman behind the checkout counter greeted me in seemingly uncommon sincerity that I didn’t expect. Her face was vaguely aged. The muscle memory that had pathed its way around her eyes and mouth seemed somewhat well traveled, yet her features were not intrusive. They were common, but still aesthetic, even welcoming. She proceeded to scan my items. When her eyes fell on the text book she stopped scanning. Slightly furrowing her brow and accentuating the fine lines on her forehead, she permitted her eyes contact with mine and asked me,
“Are you taking a class?”
“No, just bored.” I replied honestly, without thinking. Then a look that seemed like a synthesis of bewilderment and disdain sequestered her face as she exclaimed at a decibel louder than I anticipated,
“You’re buying an anatomy text book because you’re bored?! I don’t get it.”
I decided to respond before I had enough time to feel defensive about the abrupt, dismissive nature of her tone and just said,
“I guess it just looked interesting to me.”
She then voided her previous expression, smeared on a smile and uttered a farce of a chuckle.
“Huh, you should work in healthcare then.” The words sludged out of her mouth like sickeningly, thick high fructose corn syrup. I choked on their overt sweetness. There was no sincerity in them. They contained no nourishing substance. I said nothing.
She finished scanning. I paid. She continued to smile insistently and exclusively with pursed lips and pinched muscles. Her eyes still somehow conveyed an unnecessary contempt for the rationale of my purchase. She handed me my bag and receipt. I turned away from her and walked out of the store. The entire interaction disappointed me. On the bright side, the sun was out today.

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