The saddest thing I ever saw was in the lot of a shaky Stop & Shop, the kind where you can smell the meat section long before you get there. The only other store served by this parking lot was Canton’s Liquors side by side with a yellow-bricked project: four attached squat buildings only a few stories high. I’d just replenished my bourbon supply, comfy in the car, my wife beside me. As the engine woke up, I saw a young man run in a sort of frenzy, out of the supermarket door, limping and weaving. This Irish-looking kid, red wild hair and hard pink face, stumbled across the asphalt in drooping jeans and a bulging checked shirt, which he hugged like a child. He was the kind of drunk who’s almost frightening in his premature and powerful relationship with alcohol. You see them once in a while, some not yet in their 20s, faces sunburnt red, guttering eyes, stilted walk. Almost gone. Then out of the Stop & Shop burst a boy, about the same age as the thief, a superhero dressed like a cashier — tie, white shirt, shiny black slacks. The young drunk was no match for the model employee, and as he tried to speed up to elude the good little shit, drumsticks and wings and maybe a breast or two, already roasted, tumbled from his shirt and scattered on the parking lot pavement. The cashier stopped his pursuit and the young drunkard, hands outstretched, explained in a high, candid wail, “I’m hungry.”
About the author:
Alec Solomita is a writer working in the Boston area. His fiction has appeared in Southwest Review, The Mississippi Review, and Southword Journal, among other publications. He was shortlisted by the Bridport Prize and Southword Journal. His poetry has appeared in Poetica, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Driftwood Press, The Rye Whiskey Review, The Galway Review, and elsewhere, including several anthologies. His poetry chapbook “Do Not Forsake Me,” was published in 2017. His full-length poetry book, “Hard To Be a Hero,” was just released by Kelsay Books.