There is an old man ahead of me in the grocery line. He eyes the Cosmopolitan and I imagine his laser eyes centered on his forehead, cutting through the paper, opening the woman’s chest. He pays in cash for a pack of beer and eggs, his keys swinging in a long twine around his neck as walks away with a limp.
I push my cart, the pasta sauce rubs against the milk. Glass and plastic. The old man’s head is behind the trunk of a beaten up Cadillac, the street lamp drilling a white hole on his denim back. I pass him and he lifts his head. I see his sly smile, the ghosts in his eyes as if I am an insect he wants to crush. And I hear him sighing, when he slams the trunk.
He follows me all the way to the intersection where the broken traffic light blinks incessantly and the school sign illuminates like a cheddar slice. And I can feel the red sadness in his eyes piercing me. I am aching suddenly to be in my empty apartment, fill the fridge with the groceries, pay all my bills, soak in the Epsom salt water. Possibly waste the night watching a thriller where an old, perv driving a Cadillac has a stack of Cosmopolitan on his passenger seat, their cover pages cut out in the center. Until I fall asleep on the couch and realize we are all made of paper.