Easter Egg

I walked to the Co-op shop. It would be my last trip there for a few days as I plan to eat nothing but wholegrain rice and coffee with sugar for a few days. But as often happens as I walked past the sale section and there was an Easter Egg! It was only nearly out of date so it would be ok to eat even though it is June – bit of a funny time to eat an Easter Egg I said as an old lady brushed past me where the aisle bottlenecked due to a crate of potato breads. The lady made a lovely noise, we did not look at each other but it was a friendly exchange none-the-less. I had a basket and as I picked it up I noticed one of the shop worker women was stacking drinks in the drinks cabinet. I have noticed that all the women who work here are good looking. I wanted a can of Pepsi Max anyway and walked over. I said “Alright.” as I came into view to the side. We made eye contact and she replied friendlily “Hi, Y’aright?” I nodded and said yes thanks as I reached down for a can and she turned for more cans of Monster Energy which I don’t drink anymore as it gives me late night panic attacks when I drink a few of them thinking about outer space and time being some sort of illusion and people’s faces merging into one in wide eyed terror with the colours, shapes and the sounds. If the universe is expanding, it is expanding into BLACK. I stood at the drinks cabinet I breathed in forcefully through a small gap in my lips letting in the love as the big hipped shop woman put more drinks on the shelf – I was not in the bad place just now thank God … but as I turned around I wondered if it was just around the corner, later, in my isolated flat. You forget about how bad it is I reminded myself as I walked to the counter at the other end of the shop, you think it can’t be that bad again, that you have outgrown it (the horrendous panic) but then sometimes, early morning, BAM your brain comes into focus and the truth is revealed. You experience the light at the end of the tunnel not as nirvana, but ultimate, meaningless, boring, singular, forever repeating the cosmic now, unavoidable existence. Then you are breaking out in sweats and your legs shiver as you try to calm down by listening to an Oasis CD but your hands are shivering in fright as you insert the disk and the emotions in Liam Gallagher’s voice in the songs just confirm your worst fears of tinnitus where your whole life is both repeating to infinity and also has no future or past, just a present that you have to somehow make the best of and know you were a happy baby. It is a sort of insubstantial, central hub glass like prism in our heads. At these times ( I though as I paid for the egg with debit card a grim look on my face) it is at these times I find God. God is love without sin and we are all connected through God who is in heaven. The light! God will not allow Hell to be forever. You can always beat Hell. Jesus beat Hell you try to fix upon as you stagger around your flat making noises of misery near the window so the crazy old woman can hear, as you can hear her shouting incomprehensible garbage as usual. God even made it possible for the wind to blow your curtains in a cool breeze with your windows open. But still part of you feels like Marlon Brando’s snail. Anyway – panic attacks are not funny. I usually have to take my meds at these times and wait to calm down and go to sleep.
*

The sun is shining as I leave the shop after I have checked my available balance on the cash machine next to the tills, always a strangely relaxing experience even if you are down to your last tenner. The gentle shadows of the tree outside the shop need no drugs to appreciate the patterns of light and dark and leaf shapes on the floor as you walk over them waving in the breeze. I suddenly feel good and glad full and my fingers meet with my thumbs and feel like reality is liquid. I pass the office workers who are always a different group of people, but there are always some of them out here smoking. They look at me as if I am a badly dressed oddball as I sit down across from them on the curb of the car park. I have noticed some magpies fighting over some Hula Hoops. They are pecking the Hula Hoops. Then some wood pigeons come down and chase each other off thinking they look tough. I open my shopping bag and open the plastic wrapper taking out the egg. I go into a kind of dream as I break off half the choc and throw it over to the birds who immediately attack it. I think for a minute or two that they have been around since before cave man times but all this is normal to them now, the daily search for dropped crumbs amongst square buildings. My right hand reaches down to the Easter egg but it does not feel right. I look down and to my shock the bottom half of the Easter egg is filled with piri-piri wings, my fingers partially covered in the red sauce. I instinctively look up with slack jaw and temporarily the mind of my five year old self. I am staring at the magpies and pigeons writhing pathetically in a pool of blood, their wings removed by demons. My hands have begun sweating. All the blood leaves my head. There’s no escape for me this time…

I get up some moments later and walk over. As I start stamping on the creatures heads to put them out of their misery the office workers turn around from their talking and one of the girls screams. Quickly one of the lads struts over shouting “WHAT THE **** ARE YOUZ DOING MATE?” all the birds are dead now and I wave my hands frantically, sweat pouring off me, saying it’s ok it’s ok! The young man looks at me funny and then down at the mushed birds. He points assertively at me and keeps looking at me funny but does not say anymore as he walks back and puts his arm round the sobbing girl and they all go back inside. I look down at the mess on the floor. My Mum has always taught me to seek a refund or to complain if your food takes over an hour to arrive in a restaurant, so I pick up the egg and go back round the corner to the shop and go in fishing in my wallet for the receipt.

I can’t find the receipt and the shop man is not impressed with my story about the marinated wings. I shake my head and he reaches for his walkie talkie. I walk off and proceed to reach all the way down into the bin outside the door my arse up the air, looking for the receipts. Both of my feet actually leave the floor at one point. After nearly cutting my finger on a can, I give up and go back over to the shop workers who have gathered together and I say I will accept store credit whilst wiping my hands on my trousers. The manager man pauses for a moment his eyes looking levelly at me, then he unfolds his arms and raises his hands in the air shaking his head saying Alright alright, Mike. I go and get some UHT milk and then back at the till I see the egg in the bin behind the counter, strangely missing any evidence of chicken wings inside it. I stare into the abyss for a moment then gather myself and go quickly home the back way.

THE END

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