Chris and I parked in the nearly-deserted K-Mart parking lot. He had come to visit me from Rhode Island. He had also decided that he was gay and that this trip to K-Mart would be his first "public appearance as a gay guy." I said I just wanted to go in to see if they were hiring any new employees, because I really needed a job.
The K-Mart was in the same shopping center as our local K-Mart, but it was in a different corner of the shopping center. It was where the Target used to be. This probably isn't significant.
It was cloudy outside and looked as though it had just poured down rain. Chris and I were glad to get inside the store. I found job applications almost immediately, though they were for the Blockbuster Video that was in the back of the store. I decided that was okay, because I didn't really want to be a K-Mart cashier anyway. I shared my good fortune with Chris, and then he walked away.
I started pretending that I already did work at K-Mart. I concluded that it was my duty to keep people from shoplifting, because I knew the actual K-Mart workers weren't going to do it themselves. I also seemed to think that every customer in the store was up to something suspicious. In the first aisle, I noticed a mother and her three small children opening up chocolate bunnies left over from Easter. The kids would open the box, take out the bunny, unwrap it from the foil, take one lick, and then wrap it up again and put it back on the shelf. I told the mother that if she didn't make her kids stop this, I was going to have to press charges. I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to do this, but it sounded good.
I walked down aisle after aisle, looking for people trying to steal thing. I felt out of control. I figured that people would start stealing things just after I passed the aisle they were on. I was paranoid about the dressing rooms, too, so I took it upon myself to peek in every single one and make sure people weren't trying to walk out with K-Mart clothes on. Oddly enough, a lot of the dressing room doors were open, so I didn't have to really invade anyone's privacy.
When I got to the back of the store, my mom appeared. We saw the Blockbuster Video where I thought I might be working. There was a girl in a blue smock standing on the floor, helping people find video titles. My mom said, "That would be you, Laurie. Are you sure you want to do that?" I told her I really needed a job and didn't really care what I ended up doing.
After that, we went to the pharmacy. I saw three girls I knew from high school working in the back, wearing white coats and typing people's prescriptions into a computer. My mom asked if I needed a refill of my Zoloft. I did, but I told her we could get it somewhere else. I said I needed to conserve my Zoloft. Save it for rainy days and all that kind of stuff.
After that, I found myself in a TGI Friday's. It was connected to the K-Mart somehow. It wasn't open yet for the day, but I was sitting in the back next to two girls who were hostesses. I didn't know them, and I wasn't talking to them. They didn't even seem to notice I was there. As they talked about their jobs, though, I became jealous. They were making eight dollars an hour, plus tips, and all they did was stack coasters. I wondered if TGI Friday's was hiring.
I didn't get a chance to check. Pretty soon, customers were arriving, and I started walking through the restaurant, trying to find a way out. I finally did, and I ended up meeting my family in a strange underground food court. We had planned to get lunch there. My mom had chosen the place so that we could all have different things to eat. I could hear subways in the background, and the whole place was bathed in an eerie red-orange light. I didn't want to explore the place by myself, but I was also really hungry. I decided I would go up to the next level to get a rolled sandwich and some fries. I seemed to be putting off going upstairs, though. I kept sitting at the table with my family, planning out how I would walk upstairs and get my food. I woke up before I actually left the table, however.