Shelf Lives

Hot ItemThe store was eerily quiet. Each shopper walked in and was immediately given a sticker. Mine claimed that I was on clearance, even though my expiration date was lost in the distant future. I watched as smaller, thinner, better girls proudly strutted their “hot item” badges. Some elderly shoppers had “expired” tags; society was done with them.

I as I strolled past shelves of canned good and clothing racks, I saw a plethora of labels. I became envious of the little black dresses, that like those tiny women, were “hot items.” I sympathized with last year’s plush toys who had already been marked down to clearance.

Then there were the goods that were neither hot or clearance. Those things just sat there, they didn’t stand out because they hadn’t been judged yet. These items blended in with each other and wouldn’t be announced to the world until they were fashionable or out of season. I felt their unassuming nature draw me in. I wanted be unmarked and free of judgement. But I never would be, I was clearance and marked as such until my last breath.

I went in and out of the store without a flirtatious glance or wink. I was clearance material, only good for others deemed so.


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