The following is a short scene that was cut from Between Octobers, told from Evan’s point of view . . . . It takes place between Evan and his best friend Marcus, while they’re in a place Evan hardly ever goes–the grocery store.
“I need to grab some rubbers, now that I think of it. Do you mind?” Marcus asked as we walked down the aisle staring at the unnecessarily massive variety of barbecue sauces in the local supermarket. Lily sent us for potato salad and a few other things.
Marcus usually got such things when he was by himself, since I didn’t want to be caught making the purchase. Someone may see and snap a picture, hence the question.
“You’re being a bit presumptuous aren’t you?” There was no way Lily was going to give it up as quickly as he hoped. They only met a few hours before we were sent to market. She and Grace are thick as thieves and where one goes, so goes the other.
“Maybe, but better safe than sorry.”
We rounded the corner of the aisle at the back of the store. I was searching the signs that hung overhead, there was nothing listed anywhere to give indication of where they would keep such things. Not that hanging a giant sign that read ‘we’ve got rubbers here’ was a good idea.
“This way,” Marcus called out. He was a few aisles over, pointing at a sign over aisle seven that read ‘feminine hygiene products’.
“Why would they be down there?” I asked when I got close enough to speak with discretion.
“They always put them near the tampons or diapers.”
“How the hell should I know? I imagine it’s because they all involve the same area of the body.”
As we made our way up the aisle searching, I noticed Marcus wasn’t looking. He was staring back the way we came.
“Did we pass them?”
“Look at that,” He pointed behind him, “that poor fellas’ on rag duty.”
I craned my neck to see around him, but his big head was still in the way. I moved a bit more to the right and saw the poor bloke he was talking about. There was a man standing with a little boy. The gap in years was too wide to make me think they were brothers and the younger bore a strong resemblance to his older counterpart. So it must’ve been a father/son thing.
The man was holding a yellow square of paper. A shopping list, I assumed. He studied it and looked at the small pink and blue boxes in front of him. Then his eyes scanned the paper and back again to the shelves. He moved back and forth for a moment before reaching for a specific box of tampons, he was reading the description on the box and looking back at the list he held.
“What a pussy.” I muttered.
“Call me sexist, but any woman who asks me to do that may as well castrate me. It’s just as emasculating.” Marcus agreed.
We continued to watch the man as he took the box from the shelf and put it in the shopping basket. Then he picked it back up. Too embarrassed to carry it in the hand basket, he quickly passed it to his son. I couldn’t tell how old the lad was, but he was too young to understand what he was holding or why. We stood there, unnerved, as they walked off together.
“Not only is he screwed up for doing it in the first place, he’s not even man enough to do it alone, he’s got drag the tike into it. That borders on abuse.” Marcus shook his head.
“The poor kids gonna remember this one day and he’s going to have all sorts of psychological problems because of it.” I remarked, only half-joking.
Have a great Friday!