When we drove into our parking space, I got a real sense that something was up at my local 7-11. There was a lady in the passenger side of the car next to mine eating an ice cream sandwich and staring into the store, waiting for her driver who was presumably getting more ice cream sandwiches. Inside there were three cashiers behind the register, a young lady at the credit card swiper making hand motions as she talked to the uninterested cashiers, and we haven't even gotten out of our car yet.
I turned to Nina and said, "Somebody could do a sociological study on this one 7-11."
There were handwritten signs everywhere. "LEAVE YOUR BACKPACK AT FRONT DESK." "NO LOITERING, IT IS CRIME." It reminded me of the time I lived with a meth addict who went crazy cleaning our apartment and left notes reminding us to clean. "DO YOU WALK ON THIS FLOOR? YOU DO! CLEAN IT ONCE IN AWHILE!" These notes were everywhere. When I walked into the apartment and saw this, I felt like I was walking into some weird serial killer's game. Same way it felt going into that 7-11.
When I got out of the car, a large bearded man was also making exaggerated gestures to two cashiers that looked like they could have been cut from the same cheese curdle. I open the door. The bearded man exits. The store is quiet. Real quiet. There are three cashiers; two young ladies and a young man. Their arms were crossed. It felt like we interrupted them. I could feel their eyes on me as I walked toward the ice cream box.
When we got to the freezers there was a man, literally without any discernible shape with his skin melting out the sides of his shoes. He was covered in flea bites and he smelled the way a trash can smells after it rains and there's nothing but nacho cheese, dog shit, and standing water smell after you lift the lid off.
"I can't do this," I said. I turned around and headed for another part of the 7-11 and waited for the man to leave. He left with two Blue Bell pints and looked happier than I ever have at any point in my life. Good for him. He's gone.
You probably know that Blue Bell pints are criminally overpriced at 7-11, despite the buy one, get one free offer. You might as well go to HEB and get a gallon for the same price. It's much better to get a one off frozen-cream-on-a-stick deal at 7-11. I got the Butterfinger ice cream. Nina got the cookie ice cream sandwich. Solid choices.
When we went to the register, there were only two cashiers there. One was pulling at her lips via lip rings. The other was staring straight ahead in her Houston Rockets ball cap, nodding at whatever was intelligible coming from her compatriot's mouth as she tugged at her bottom lip. That's multitasking, folks.
"She said she was the only one to pass the test and I was like, damn, girl," the Houston Rockets cap girl said.
I have no idea what they were talking about but it went on for awhile.
We paid for our shit and left.