Is it truly possible that the general state of the species is to float through even the most banal of circumstances untroubled by minor annoyances? Let’s not go so far as to discuss whether you are able to get through a transaction at an automated teller machine without somehow secretly intuiting the sorrow and loneliness and lack of hope that hurts the hearts of everyone else around you—I realize that magic power of tragic transference is a special gift only few of us have been chosen to live with. All I want to know is if everyone else is really having a good time in our nation’s checkout lines. Because maybe that explains why none of you seem in any particular hurry to have your money or cards ready to go when your turn finally comes with the cashier. Sweet Christ, it’s like you’ve got the rest of your lives to bathe in that bad lighting next to the snack cake display and you’re pleased as punch to spend that time with the rest of us, regardless of what we’re trying desperately to rush off to. Or maybe you’re just so dispirited by the idea of going back your empty, loveless hole of heartbreak that you want to prolong the few seconds of contact you have with any other human being? God, I’m crying just thinking about it.
Alex Balk so gets me.