Writing Calisthenics

AvatarA collection of short stories, essays, and exercises to keep my brain from rusting between larger works.


I just wanted a pack of smokes.
     The man in front was short and he wore a thick green vest with lots of pockets.  He walked back and forth to the aisle of hair care products carrying his argument with him.
    "It says 0.66¢!  It's right there on the shelf!"
    He had a coupon on the counter and not trusting the register or maybe the cashier with the tattoos on both forearms, he asked for a pen.  He added the prices of an armload of VO5 shampoo, 0.66¢ a bottle.
    "Wait now.  Just wait."
    He scrawled across the face of the coupon, adding, multiplying, carrying the two.
    "And you have?"
    He looked at the screen with the cashier's total.  "That sounds right."
    The cashier sighed and reached under the counter for a bag.
    "No plastic.  It'll just get recycled."
    I was in my car as he left the store.  He walked out and crossed the parking lot to his black Honda hybrid, arms loaded with plastic bottles filled with unnaturally orange and yellow shampoo and conditioner.
    His hair was spectacular.


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