Wants and Needs

landeen_blog-4557 I want to sit by a fire with whiskey and listen to the wind and the water and the voices of my friends.
I need a place to go.
A tall man with thin white hair stands in front of me. There is a problem with the barcode and the clerk is having trouble. I wait in line and stare at the pink flashlights and yellow double-ended screwdrivers and key rings and doo-dads and knick-knacks.
A cashier is at the next register.
She waves in my direction and says,
I’ll take the next in line.
Across the store a woman struggles to remove a forty-pound bag of sunflower seeds from a display claiming Red Hot Buys.
The sun is out and it’s windy and in the parking lot a woman has locked her keys in her car. I can tell by the way she shakes around and repeatedly pulls the door handle and looks through the window. She has a brown paper grocery bag cradled in her left arm and a pale-yellow shirt.
I am the next in line.
The man behind me steps around and walks quickly over. He is short and wearing a brown leather jacket.
I want to drive North. I wouldn’t mind seeing some snow. Maybe I should buy some chains. They probably sell chains here.
I look.
Weren’t you the next in line?
I shrug. The man in the brown leather jacket doesn’t look up from his items.
In a few days it will be 2015. I like the number fifteen. Half of thirty. Thirty is a good number, too. I am not sure about forty-five, though. I have no relationship with that number.
The tall man with the thin white hair lifts a plastic bag from the counter and turns away. He takes small careful steps and pulls his collar up. The doors swoosh and a few leaves tumble in as he walks out.
The clerk smiles at me. She has very pale skin and light blue-green eyes and is very pretty but not Hot. I imagine she has a dog. Maybe a yellow lab. I look for hair on her blue sweater and see none.
I step forward and place on the counter two Hillman 3/8in X 5in wedge anchors, two 3/8in flat washers, a 3/8in masonry bit and a small brown envelop on which is written the cost of the anchors and washers.
She pulls the items toward her.
I feel the need to call someone. There is nobody at my house. I am struck by loneliness but it passes. I am hungry. What’s in my fridge? I wonder what time her shift ends. She looks like she is in college. Too young. When did that happen?
The woman with the sunflower seeds is now behind me. She pushes the bag forward along the laminate floor with her foot and types on her phone. Something smells like lemons.
The clerk picks up the envelop and types into the computer.
Did you find everything you needed today?
That’s a hell of a question. Everything? I don’t think so. And needed? Past tense? It’s not even noon.
I need food. I need a place to go. I need to call someone. I need to drive and split wood and pour a drink in a place that smells like pine and dirt and wet. I need a connection. I need movement. I need to hurry. I need to slow down. I need things I have never heard of and will never know. I need everything and nothing all at once.
The doors swoosh and the leaves dance and the woman with the brown paper grocery bag and pale-yellow shirt walks in. She looks around as she walks and her eyes fall on the short man with the brown leather jacket and she angles toward him. She stops at his shoulder and says he is never going to believe what she just did. He doesn’t look up.
I smile at the clerk.
Yes, I have everything. Thank you.