At the dollar store just now a whole line of us were trapped behind a person who was buying $288.78 worth of stuff in dollar increments (that is the actual number — I watched her painstakingly count out exact change). People were getting frustrated, but me — I had just given up. “This is my life, now,” I thought. “I’m going to be in this line forever.” So I made the best of it, rolled my shoulders back as Esther Ekhart had taught me, checked my spinal alignment and pretended I was doing an important yoga pose: Tadasana With 32 Rolls of Toilet Paper.
When another register finally opened up, I gestured for everyone else to go ahead of me. I felt like I had made a spiritual commitment to this line, and I was kind of interested in seeing the end of the story happening in front of me. How much money was it possible to spend at a dollar store? And what language was the woman speaking to her friend as they pulled yet another frilly tutu and a set of popscicle-makers out of their bottomless shopping cart? It was beautiful, rolling, lilting. I fought the impulse to repeat their words out loud.
One of the women I’d let go to the open register passed me with her purchases and said, “You’re the most patient American I’ve ever met! You belong in the Caribbean, where the lines are even longer than this, all the time!”
I belong in the Caribbean! Yes, of course! It all makes sense now. If you need me, I will be online searching for real estate in Trinidad and Tobago.