True Colors

winn-dixie 2

He wore only white because of the dandruff. On porn sites he lingered only on women of color. Greenbacks were tender based only on faith, and fortune came only out of the blue. All red-white-and-bluers were con men, and the sun ain’t yellow it’s chicken. The clues were all in the spectrum. Inside the white light of reality was a prism of partial truths with no outlines, and behind them the shades and shadows of doubt as deep as space. There was safety in all this uncertainty, a soft unknowable comfort zone simple answers could not supply.

Stick a fork in it. People were starving, and she was buying stew meat for her dog, a mut, a cur. He liked that word cur, a word with an onomatopoetic root—there were too few of those—Old Norse for growl. He knew that she herself was vegan, one of those in denial of their own incisors. Cloven-hoofed cud chewers, okay by Leviticus. She wouldn’t wear even faux fur. He followed her around the Winn-Dixie, pushing the basket in which children were not allowed. What if you were buying one? Or just frozen parts of one? On sale. Cheaper with your Winn-Dixie card. No telling country of origin. No USDA-approved stamp.

What to serve with them? Fijians had a specific leafy cannibal plant that they ate with human flesh, something like kale. Don’t waste your kill, eat your enemy. A turn down the feminine-products aisle, foreign, forbidden country. Why were the lightbulbs also in this aisle? No wonder he could never find them. Outside the store, people were dying. Not in the parking lot, but everywhere else, all over the globe. How often were you aware of living—and dying—on a globe? A fucking globe, the same shape as an 8 ball.

He counted the items in their basket in Roman numerals—XII. IV more and they would be banned from the Speed Checkout line. He knew better than to speak. Winn-Dixie was a deafmute sphere, the cone of silence. Private secrets, the kind that are not real or are in type so small on the backs of cans you know that they are lies. He wondered why she had worn red pants. Why had he not stayed in the car, safe and primed for escape?

That’s right, the lights. The bright colored lights in the store windows versus the darkness that swallowed him when she shut the car door.


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