This was a long and boring day of Running. Many people wanted tacos. The elderly wanted Dover sole. I phoned a customer from the aisles of CVS, confused: what is Zim’s Max Free Gell? “It’s zit cream,” she told me.
“Ah,” I said. “They don’t seem to have that brand. Would you like to try CVS brand Maximum Strength Acne Cream instead? It costs $5.99.”
“I don’t have acne,” she snapped. “I just have ONE zit.” Right.
She repeated herself: “It’s not acne it’s just one single zit.” The way she spat out the word zit, with such disgust. I felt a mixture of compassion and slight panic, as if her self-loathing might be contagious.
Later I needed something beautiful so I turned to poetry. Glancing at the latest episode of the Poetry Magazine podcast at a red light, the title of the current poem seemed to be “They Killed Cows. I Hate Them”. I immediately thought of the film 1917, and was jealous of the idea that someone had written a sort of ekphrastic response to the killing of animals in the film by German troops.
I had misread the title, though, the poem was actually called “They Killed Cows. I Killed Them,” by an Indian poet responding not to a film but to current events. Apparently there’s a growing trend among Hindu extremists to carry out acts of terrorism against butchers and ranchers who raise animals for meat.
So much for beauty. I delivered another batch of tacos and called it a night.