The queue wasn’t too big. I figured this to be a bonus since I’m one of the few British residents who don’t like queuing. I find it to be a waste of time. But contempt is balanced by a voice in my head that suggests it is a necessary evil, and dare anyone seek to disrupt the mannered art of queuing then I will meet them with great vengeance. Luckily, on this day, the line wasn’t too long.
The perfume of the woman in front of me caught my senses and transported me to summer. Sunshine, shorts and opened windows. A far cry from the world outside where frowned faces dragged across the greyed pavements. Her aroma whispered jazz. Her attire told me she was carefree.
I wondered if her face would be as prosperous as the stories the back of her head told. She shifted around and glanced at me. The music turned sour. The birds choked on their whistles. Her smoke-wrinkled skin brought me closer to death. The DVD in her hand coughed upon its embarrassment. Summer had once again departed.
Nothing much changed as we all shuffled up one place. Only the music played around our ears had altered. Bill Withers had arrived. I embraced a smile put upon me by the soothing tunes of one of life’s greatest. I felt victorious that in a world so eager to talk nonsense, Bill had the incredible knack of turning up and taking care of business. My feet started to tap. I let them have a brief moment before reigning in the controls. I however had no jurisdiction on the rhythm which continued to bounce inside my body.
By now I had begun perusing the array of cashiers, surmising which of the crew I would prefer to serve me. I would normally make a bee-line for the most attractive of females, but giving that there was a dearth of vaginas, I then realised that I didn’t actually give a shit. As long as I didn’t get lured into a conversation about purchases, in which I would inevitably start to sound like a moany old git. Cashiers no longer understand my truths. Now, my words confront them as Rubik’s cubes, leaving their faces crippled with confusion.
All of this didn’t really matter. I was next in line. I was happy. And Bill was still singing.
My turn came. The cashier smiled. His pierced cheek curtsied at my arrival, as did the Mickey Mouse tattoo on his neck.
“Hi, how can I help?”
“Er, hi. I’m looking for the new season of Boardwalk Empire” I smiled, pretty sure the look of confusion wouldn’t arrive on his face.
“Season 2?” The look of confusion arrived on his face.
“Er no. Season 3”.
“Season 3? It’s not been made yet”.
“It’s not been made yet. Apparently been commissioned for next year”.
Now it was my turn to be confused; “What?”
“It doesn’t exist”.
His smile had suddenly turned empty. The friendly gesture had now disappeared. He was ready to move on. I wasn’t.
“Boardwalk Empire season 3. I’d like it now please”.
“I’m sorry sir we don’t have it. You can log on to our……”
Suddenly he fell silent – it may have had something to do with my leaping over the counter.
“Boardwalk Empire season 3!”
“Sir, please put the knife down”.
As I held the blade to his throat, I knew that possibly I had reached a new low. His piercings greeted me no more. Mickey was staring onto the blade wishing for Minnie to come rescue him. And Bill had taken his guitar somewhere else.
Security was round like a flash, begging me to drop the knife. I kept reiterating what I wanted. What I needed. Boardwalk Empire season 3. Season 3! No one could help me.
By now, fellow customers had departed, leaving only staff. They questioned my motives.
“Season 3! Season 3! That’s all I want! Go and get it!”
Another pierced showpiece joined the fray; “But sir, it doesn’t exist”.
“No sir. No I’m not”
“What? It must exist!”
“But it doesn’t, now please put the knife down.”
“But…. How?…. What am I supposed to do? How else can I spend my evenings? What else will I stay up until 4 o’clock doing? How will I know what becomes of Nucky and Mrs Shroeder?”
“They are all good questions. But ones we cannot answer” He seemed practiced at this.
In the distance a new figure appeared. His laboured suit and balding head suggested he was the Manager.
“What’s going on?” He immediately quizzed a staff member.
“Boardwalk season 3”
“For god’s sake! Again? You know what to do” He instructed his minion.
The minion casually walked toward the racks of DVDs, grasped the Baywatch Box-Set before delivering it to his manager. The manager started towards me, keeping a close eye on the boy who was sheltering underneath my knife. Very slowly, but very sure, he walked around the counter until he had reached us. The room was quiet. Everyone was still.
“It’s okay” His eyes were true, “We understand your suffering”
He reached his DVD –laden hand out to me, I grasped the Box-Set with a sense of bewilderment.
“This will help ease the pain”.
Pamela looked upon me with her lycra-cladded warm smile. I lowered the knife. I was at peace.