A few miles past Magdalena, NM – 3/28
The aisles of Family Dollar glowed under electric light. I walked through them and stared at the array of packaging. Oreos with their blue and white label. Lays chips yellow. Orange goldfish crackers. Coca-Cola red. It made my head dizzy. I barely knew where to turn as I stacked things in my basket, my eyes wide, my stomach empty and screaming.
Ice cream, chips, deli meat, bread, mustard, cheese. I stacked and stacked, package on package, then waited in a long line, taking my place between two bikers heading across the New Mexico desert and a family passing west. I stared in my basket and waited my turn, listening to the cashier scan an item at a time.
I settled in a patch of shade against Magdalena’s library and feasted, feeling strength seep into my body with every bite, energy spilling from my filled stomach, shooting through my veins to reinforce weary muscles after days of almost nothing. I sat for hours, eating, drinking, sitting, lounging, resting, gorging until my eyes glazed over and my stomach swelled.
I brushed myself off with an hour of daylight left, packed up all I had left, and disappeared down a long road again, back into the wild, back where I belonged.