GROCERY SHOPPING

There was a grocery store opposite my house
‘Simply Market’ was its name 
My visits there soon became the highlight of my day
Sauntering down the aisles
Google translate in one hand and my basket in another 
It was a salivating educating trip like no other 

I made my meals up as I stared at the array of freshness that stood before me
New and shiny, in all their glory
The possibilities were endless, 
This was Italy. 
The land and home of good food and great energy 

But my trips were infected
They suffered from a bad bout of the ‘fetish flu’ 
Suddenly, my simple Simply trips felt like sprinting competitions 
Because a man in there would follow me 

At first I was flattered, 
I felt too bad to object to his conversations 
But then it mattered 
It mattered that anytime he saw me, he would rush to the till 
Almost in a frenzy just to get a glimpse at me

Pause. 

Open whatsapp. 
Type, ‘Karina’ (my sister) 
Am I overthinking it? 
Maybe he just...likes me? 

Resume. 

My feelings are my feelings
And I felt uncomfortable 
It mattered that he would suddenly appear in whatever aisle I had made my safe place 
It mattered that he always insisted on helping me when I didn’t actually require it 
It mattered that his eyes would follow me - as I walked in, as I walked out 
Even the loud sounds of Coldplay playing through my headphones couldn’t block the glare out 

I felt it on the back of my neck 
A heat no amount of cold could combat 
I felt like something was stolen from me 
My magical trips soon became misery 

But there was a grocery store opposite my house 
And I had to eat. 

~ April '19

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