I sat in confusion in the 30 degree chill of my car as it idled, staring uncomprehendingly at the crowds of unhinged, stressed-out, wild haired people running in all directions with carts piled high.
There was shouting, and crying. Someone was attempting to drag an overloaded shopping cart through slushy clumps of snow, angrily cursing the too-tiny wheels now locked in place in the mess and refusing to budge.
Harried employees, looking like they haven’t slept in days, were waving flyers and calling out to the crowds like stockbrokers on the floor of the exchange. Customers grabbed them and ran in every direction.
Madness. It was madness.
I came for two things. Routine items, really. Nothing that couldn’t wait, just on my way home from work and the thought crossed my mind “Oh! I should run in quickly and grab them since I’m driving by!”
I could not make my work weary mind wrap around the vision of madness before me. I was on back to back shifts for eight days. I was worn out and turned around, no longer in touch with the world beyond my unit.
Inside children were hopping and begging and yanking on adult sized arms, pointing futilely at things while the adult being manhandled continued resolutely towards things like socks and hats and cotton balls, to the agony of the children hanging on.
The place looked like it had been and was still in the process of being ransacked or robbed. I stared mutely. A wave of panic rising inside as clusters of crazed shoppers swelled around me and swept me down an aisle I had no intention of going to.
I clutched my bag to my chest and tried to breathe deeply and slowly. A strangers hand landed on my shoulder and pulled me back into a main aisle, patting my shoulder and saying “Almost didn’t make it! Where’s your stuff? Are you gonna take the short cut through yarn and get in the TV line, or are you headed for jewelry?” He was gone just as fast as he’s appeared, yelling into his phone to someone I presume was his child “YOUR SMALLER AMD FASTER, GO UNDER THE RACK AND GET IN LINE!!”
I staggered backwards, looking from side to side at the carnage and then ran to the exit as fast as I could. Black Friday. It was BLACK FRIDAY. It was HERE. I was HERE. My worst nightmares all coalesced into this dark, dark place, SO dark it’s called “BLACK FRIDAY.”
I ran. I ran as fast as I could back to my car, threw it into drive and peeled out before the Salvation Army Santa could ring the next bell.
Blogger, life enthusiast, queen of chaos. Author and star of #closertocrazy, and Hairbeast Productions. I live in north central Massachusetts on a tiny misshapen, entirely accidental farm. Life is always an adventure!
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