Somewhere up above, high in the snows, a lost llama was starting to feel cold, starting to feel the fear that it might not really know the way back down. It was beginning to understand, viscerally, that wondering off might have been a huge mistake.
Down below, in the valley of mankind, I saw the llama’s photo on a poster advertising its status as ‘lost.’ I snorted in agreement. Aren’t we all. I thought as I passed the poster into the humid warmth of the supermarket.
As one aisle turned to another, similarly save the category of item on the identical white shelves, the image of the llama never left my mind. It started to lead my search for food sideways, initiating a process of remembering and forgetting what I was supposed to get.
Somewhere around the sweet potatoes I looked up from selecting future meals and tried to get a hold of my mind. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and willed myself to stop thinking about some fucking llama on a hillside. Fuck it was probably dead and being eaten, and I, I must find my own meals.
Exhaling, I opened my eyes to see a woman perusing onions on the other side of the produce display. She had thick eyebrows and large dark eyes. I averted my gaze and returned to the sweet potatoes when I voice, husky and friendly piped up.
Excuse me, is this onion still good? I looked up and met her smiling eyes. She held an onion out toward me. I moved my head a bit to inspect it. She, for her part, spun it in her hand so I could inspect it from every angle. It had an odd looking spot on one side. I narrowed my eyes and tried to give it a good look. I shrugged and honestly told her I had no idea.
Is that weird looking spot soft? I probed, grasping at straws.
She gave a little mock toss before actually tossing it to me. I caught it and gave it a feel. It felt normal, or what I guess is normal for an onion. The spot felt the same as the rest of the bulb. I told her so and tossed it back to her.
She caught it adeptly and rolled it around in her hand. She copied my shrug and smiled at me. I guess it’s only 14 pesos, worth the risk, right? She said with a laugh.
I guess, yeah, sure. Better than it going to waste in the bin, I guess.
Absolutely. She replied squaring her shoulders as if taking a moral stand on the utility of weird looking onions. She gave a quick thanks and pushed her car away, off into the odd maze that is my supermarket.
I stood for a moment lost in the memory of the conversation, before following her path with my eyes only to find a supermarket ticking in its usual pattern, without a trace of the woman or the odd looking onion. For a moment I wondered if that interaction ever happened at all.
I went back to picking sweet potatoes and remembered the lost llama. Fuck not that shit again.