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    My daily writing--emails, journal entries, marginalia, more emails, blog posts, and tweets--shapes me as a writer, helping and hindering the big stuff I'm trying to accomplish. Every word counts.

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In KMart, while shopping for bedding, I heard Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street.” It’s a gorgeous song, and I was surprised to hear it among the muzak. The next song was the bland, overrated “Graceland,” by Paul Simon. I realized that someone at KMart Central must have put in the 1986 mix. I remembered how pissed I got when Simon won the Grammy for Album of the Year over Gabriel. An insult, really. And I can safely say I never imagined I would relive that pain with Martha Stewart eying me from all directions.

Rounding the corner into the drapes section, I heard a mother say to her son, “Have I told you recently that you annoy me?” The child couldn’t have been older than three. He sat in the basket of the cart focused on a toy. She pushed the cart, staring down the aisle, her sneer passing, hopefully, over the child’s head.

She rolled into the electronics section, where I could see all the TVs showing the same channel, which played footage of one presidential candidate at a rally with his choice for VP. The image switched to the other presidential candidate speaking into a microphone, then pundit after pundit after pundit after pundit. All of these men, candidates and pundits included, wore bright, clean, starched shirts, some with jackets, all with ties. A stunning display of moving lips and nodding heads, but whatever they were saying didn’t quite reach me.


One Response

  1. There was a toy store in Worcester, which I sorta consider my hometown even though I grew up in its suburb, called “Spree.” It was big, like Kmart, but it was all toys.

    Once, we were all there (my parents, their five children) on a rainy day, and there was a Barbie contest. All we had to do to enter was put our names, individually, on tickets. Well, we were the only shoppers that morning, because the weather was so terrible, and we won five identical Barbies, which were patriotically-themed. (Red/white/blue hot pants and halter top.)

    This is where my mind traveled, when I read your post.

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