It was easier to get from one side of the day to the other, Erin had decided, if you gave it a colon, or specifically, something after the colon. Monday: The Day Erin Would Go Grocery Shopping and Finally Tell Brian Things Were Not Working Out. Things after the colon were more than a to-do list, they were cue cards, important directives held at a slight distance. She gave herself notes as she went through the motions, instant feedback one of the benefits of being the actress and the director. Maybe a half-smile when bending to tie your shoes, like you have a secret, but the fun kind, a tattoo you don't think your mother would approve of. Pause before reaching for the Captain Crunch, like you're considering a healthier option. Like this is a crossroad and the right decision could move you towards something brighter, a shinier life. She gives herself the notes in the car on the ten-minute trip to the supermarket, listening to the CD she had found in the player when she'd bought the mini-van last year, a collection of instrumental lullabies. Brian had wanted to throw it out, saying it was dangerous to play something designed to put you to sleep while driving 4,000 pounds of metal. The constant argument would feature prominently in the second half of the day's title.
Erin had kind of a thing with the rotisserie chicken guy. And the fish guy. And the woman who offered her a slice of American cheese while she considered just how much potato salad she might use that week. Not all the things were good, only one was sexual, and sometimes she considered ending them all completely by going to the supermarket down the street.
She smiled at the rotisserie chicken guy when he said they'd be taking the lemon pepper birds off the spit in five minutes. As she smiled, she tried not to think about how unappetizing it was to remember her dinner was cooked on something called a spit, and that it had once been just as a alive as the seagull she had nearly run over in the parking lot.
"Is it a nice day?" he asked, scratching his arm through his rubber glove, which seemed so glaringly unhygienic Erin considered abandoning the pursuit of chicken all together.
"It is a nice day out," she said, hoping her addition of the word he had obviously forgotten didn't come off as too pointed. His mistake had made the sentence more stressful than any sentence shared between two people who had never truly been introduced should be.
"Wish I could see it. Working 'til ten," he said with such pained wistfulness she was tempted to draw out the conversation further, to point out surely he could have someone cover him, if only for a moment, so he could stand in front of the store and enjoy the sun.