Edmonton, Canada / Program Coordinator at Social Work Agency & Artist
Working from home, only going out for groceries, walks or drives.


I'm shopping at an antique store and find all kinds of treasures that I want to buy. I get in line to pay and the owners start going through everything, finding tags, adding it up. But they keep getting distracted by other customers. The owners are a small grizzled but wiry man and large woman. Both speak Spanish. The other customers are trying to buy pastries, custards, and other treats. I eat some cake while I wait but it soon becomes clear that they're run off their feet and it's not going to happen. It makes me wonder if my big purchase would be worth more or less to them than all the small purchases of treats. I try to the woman and tell her that I understand, she's overwhelmed, but I don't know the word in Spanish for overwhelmed. At this point, the antique shop is dark and there are long screens to block anyone from entering. Only the cafe is open. I've been admiring the pastries and the homemade jams, and wondering why I've never tried them before, and then I see an animal like an otter or a large weasel rolling around in one of the tubs of jam, which are open without even a sneezeguard. I try to tell the woman but I don't know the word for jam. And then there are other animals in other tubs, one that looks like a miniature goat and one that looks like a baby kangaroo. I realize that total chaos has descended and the only thing I can do is add up my purchases myself, leave them money, and go.

© Neptune and Manisha Anjali