Two Item Limit

He just had a pack of cigarettes, and a pack of gum, and a hangover. The lights made his head pound, and the gridlocked checkout aisles stretched parallel like telephone poles to the horizon.

Two Item Limit, said the one next to him. No line.

He watched the Winstons and Wrigleys Doublemint shift down the conveyor belt, inch by inch, past – wait, there didn’t seem to be anything on the shelves – and then his gaze met the cashier’s bangs, which were black, and then her glasses, which were also black. “Hey,” she said.

“Just this. Thanks.” He fished out his credit card and put his hands back in his pockets. The elevator music did an appropriate little flourish.

“We don’t take American Express.” His back was to her now, and he turned around.

“That’s a Visa.”

“Yeah. We don’t take American Express either.” She pointed to a sign on the counter: We Accept: Bank of Whales, Enema Gold, Sgt. Bob’s Family Credit-O-Rama, Diner’s Club.


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