An apathetic urgency plagues the abode. Blankets folded. Pillows piled. Wine and tortilla chips becoming fast friends in a bin meant for clothes. It is time.
An amusing urgency permeates the car, or perhaps the scent of blankets tumultuously piled upon each other. The store is near.
A giddy sense of satisfaction: a parking spot in the front is free. Pillows and blankets carried to an outdoor pavement palace. It has begun.
The hours pass. First one, then many. Eleven fall to the pavement before the pavement palace is destroyed.
Prematurely buried in the car, the pavement palace is but a fond memory. One more hour falls.
Men come out, with sheets wanted by many, but none by I. Greedily, I take one any way.
Minutes pass into seeming hours. The doors open. My back arches, as if a cat ready to pounce.
Bolting, scurrying, I find a uniformed shirt at a kiosk.
“46 INCH SHARP AQUOS!”
No time for niceties. No time for stuttering. He laughs. How dare he! He guides me to the proper kiosk. Silently, his laughter is forgiven.
Two seconds from glory.
“ZACH!” I bellow to my partner in crime. Across the wild jungle, he hears me and makes haste.
No…two minutes from glory. Thank you, deliverer of arbitrary rules. Third in line.
Fourth? No, I think not, my intellectually challenged friend. You shall not pass. Grace and patience are long lost virtues here.
Silently, I thank mother for the hips that regained my spot as third. Second now.
Minutes are hours. First.
Another chatty uniform.
“46 INCH SHARP AQUOS.” Yes, sir, that is how I am doing today.
How long did I wait in line? “46 INCH SHARP AQUOS.”
Perhaps a broken record. Perhaps an unwavering predator.
Alas! it is ours! For $1200 less than any other day of the year.
The predator’s needs are satisfied. The precious unwanted sheet is given to the last poor soul in line, reserving his claim to a lesser prey.
After twelve long hours, I breathe.