crossroads man in the garden with me

And The 51st Can See The Light: how do you buy a bag of milk?

There was a time when I could go through a litre of milk, just get up, open the fridge, and drink glass after glass, hungrily, gobbling it up like I was starved of it. Mom would say she’d always go out and buy extra if she knew I was coming for a visit, so she’d have milk for her coffee the next morning. 

These posts take me back in time. Not just back the 3 years to when they were first drafted, but back to when Mom was alive, back to kitchen talks, and all the minutiae of life, and once they are gone it is always just one more moment you want, always. There are things I definitely would have talked to her about, things she would have known, and I miss those talks, her perspective, her voice. 

Another thing is I don’t crave milk anymore, or as much, and it is rare for me to have any in the fridge, or at least for long, so I guess perhaps I am weaned.

Well, no more bones to mend (knock on wood) and seems as though those copious amounts of it did little good besides.

After that break, I stayed off work for 2 1/2 months total, had the whole last part of that summer off, and when I finally went back I turned around and quit the very next day. Sort of like the boiling frog analogy, that goes if you put a frog straight into boiling water he will immediately try to get out, but if you put it into tepid water and slowly turn the heat up, he will be lulled into a false sense of calm and not see it coming.

pot of boiling water may 2016
No idea why I took a picture of boiling water, but I did, at the end of May of 2015.

Could not do it. After that time to think, and dream, I decided that I’d rather live in a cardboard box under a bridge then return to that pot of boiling water horrible no good call centre, I was DONE!!!

With just enough money for the rent that month, my internet and phone, and hope and faith, and a kind sister, and good friends, such as D3, that Crossroads Man, who fed me steak and kidney beans, beer and bread, and courage. 

It was the best of times, as it was the worst, and I survived, found a new job I still like, and all’s well that… well… nothing has ended, not even close, I’m just getting started and there is still another 19 more days to go of this trip through these dusty drafts. 

photos from April 14th, 2016

From April 30th, 2016.

This would probably surprise you, but I don’t normally buy milk anymore. Too expensive. Don’t even use it in my coffee now.

And you probably would be god-smacked at what grocery stores look like now. You’ve been gone almost 15 years and in that time, what with the onslaught of new tech, the whole experience has changed.

I remember years ago going to the old Dominion there at the merging of Hamilton and Gore? Think the place is now maybe a bingo hall or was a bingo hall, been ages since I was out that end of town.

Point being, shopping for groceries now is more like a 3 ring blawdy circus.

What got me thinking about that old Dominion Store, is this meme that came through my facebook feed this morning. This photo of one of the new self-checkout counters was pictured, with the heading…”Just Say No”…or something. The basic idea being that by using the self-checkout lane you are taking away jobs from hard-working Canadians.

Point taken, and for a lot of reasons, I completely agree. However, these same people will probably drive halfway across town to get the cheapest price on a bag of milk, but they insist on believing that these choices don’t have repercussions.

Out of necessity more than choice, and due to the proximity, I do my grocery shopping here in the village. The place has the reputation of being one of the most expensive stores in the city. However, I have the joy of the one thing those 3 ring circus’ just do not often offer – that personal touch.

For instance, one of the most well-known cashiers in London works there, ask anyone who’s lived here, and they’ll tell ya her name. “Dittly Do“…to which I answer “thank you.”

The place is not all glitz and glamour. Far from. Certainly, recent changes gave the place a facelift, but geesh, it’s a f’n grocery store. I walk in, I buy food, I smile and laugh with the checkout person, I leave and go home. I can do that anywhere, but quite frankly that middle part, the laugh and such with the cashier, well you don’t get that everywhere.

The big giant superstore near work? I use the self-checkout usually to avoid the cashiers, to be perfectly honest. Most are just nasty, unfriendly, sad, angry, and generally indifferent. It’s obvious that the majority of them absolutely hate their job. Not all, but most.

You just can’t have it all, simple as that. You want cheap, quick, choice, and have a friendly face meet you at the checkout? Well, that has been driven into the dirt as everyone races off to the next best deal, and now they care about that cashier’s job? Seriously?

You know Mom, I am still astounded at the ignorance. Although I guess that is more to do with my tendency towards generally thinking the best of people. And with social media, frankly, ya get smacked in the face with this prevailing wind of stupid on a fairly regular basis, so my resilience is worthy, if naive.

Some people are lost in the bushes, wishing for a world that is gone and quite frankly we have only ourselves to blame. Sad to say, but that grocery store here in the village is a treasure from a lost world.

You vote with your dollar bills, not via likes on facebook.

I suppose the difference with me is also that I haven’t really watched a lot of TV over the last decade or more. Don’t listen to the radio, and have generally not lived, shopped, and been enamoured by any of the garbage many gravitate to. All that shiny, glitzy, new-fangled, best ever, fad, trend, WHATEVER, has bypassed me. I’m not the consumer those 1%er’s are aiming their stun-guns at.

Sure, you can protest all ya want, but it is inevitable that self-checkout lanes will be as common as debit machines in no time. People just don’t get that you can’t have it all.

Guess that’s my rant for the day. And it really is unfortunate, but change is going to happen. I can’t stand shopping in those big box stores. I certainly get the convenience aspect, but I’ll take personality with a side of friendly banter any day over a cheap bag of milk. Thank you kindly.

the village in duo-tone - thetemenosjournal.com
The Village in Duo-Tone – Spring 2016
nanopoblano2018
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One thought on “And The 51st Can See The Light: how do you buy a bag of milk?

  1. Pingback: Day 12 – NanoPoblano – “The Path We Tread Ahead” by David Ellis – A Found Poem Inspired by “Consolation” by Robert Louis Stevenson | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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