The door chime dinging out its happy tune as I entered the 7/11. 2 am on a rainy night and I feel at home here. In the aisles of random products, and isle in the storm for me. I yawned absentmindedly and went for the beer fridge. The glass was fogged from the ambient humidity that came in in waves when the door opened. It was a warm rainy night, easily my favorite night time weather.
I wonder if there is any place where it rains every night? I mused to my blurry reflection on the glass fridge door.
I opened the door and the cold steam billowed out. I chose a tall boy of my prefered brand of cheap beer. Over the speaker a muzak jazz song played ambivalently. It had a vaguely disco beat to it. The beer can was cold in my hand as I moved on to the snack aisle. Ever since my childhood potato chips have been a guilty pleasure. Not the expensive kind, quite the opposite, I usually choose the cheapest local brand I can get, preferable in a weird flavor that is only available in that country. As a kid potato chips were the closest to a vice my strict catholic parents would allow, and then only on a very limited number of Fridays. To this day my Dad is only allowed to eat them on such occasions. I, however, love a good late night beer and potato chip run. I don’t need to wake up till noon tomorrow, so I can pass out at 4 and still get my 8 hours. Till then I’ll enjoy these chips and beer, and the rain that soaks the city.
I walked over towards the cashier. He was in his 40’s, watching a comedy program on his phone. He laughed quietly along with the jokes- though I’m not sure why he stifles his laughter, this store has to be empty most of the night. Only a few stragglers like me, maybe a parent with a sick kid, a couple needing condoms, something like that. No members of that group are going to begrudge him a few chuckles. I approached and he seemed startled that I was there. I swear I could knock over the stores in this country without even trying. Either he forgot I was here, or he never noticed in the first place. I put my refreshments on the counter and he lazily scanned them. He said the price, I gave a note, he gave change and our transaction was complete. I said my usual “Thank you” in the most polite way I know, grabbed my beer and the chips and headed for the door. It opened to the symphony of the door ding again and was hit with a blast of warm, wet air. I stood just out the door, under the eve, safe from the storm and cracked my beer. I cheersed the night and took a pull. I put the beer down on the window ledge, inside I could see the cashier again laughing at his show. I opened the chip bag wide and took a few. Seaweed and salt, delicious. I stood there and ate the whole bag. Watching a city that never sleeps doze a for a bit to the rhythm of the falling rain. The apartment buildings around me had a few lights on, and I wondered what for. I wondered what their reason was, I snorted at the thought of asking what’s their excuse. I drank more beer. You’re never really lonely if you have your own company, and that night I was perfectly content with the chips and the beer and the rain, and my own galaxy of thoughts to explore.