Aug 14, 2021


Some days, you see things that open your eyes to the diversity of how people utilize things.

The line was long curving around several isles to the very last aisle to the inside back of the building.  Grocery carts, baskets on the floor filled to brim, people with groceries loading down their arms, heads bobbing, hips swaying, shoulders moving rhythmically to the music coming from the ceiling, stood 6 ft apart. The forward momentum flowed like molasses. In front of me stood an afro Caribbean woman, dressed in mid thigh brown shorts and a faded mustard color top that passed me on the street yapping on her cellphone. She yapped along steadily, and loud, barely seeming to pause for breath. Behind me was a black man in his mid to late forties (40s) surveying the freezers stocked robustly with ice creams, tarts, cheese cakes, birthday cakes, popsicles, lollies, sorbets and yogurts. 

Every once in a while as the line inched along I could hear the drag of his basket on the floor as he used his foot to shove it forward.  As I turned slightly to survey the guilty sinful delights taunting me as I mentally lectured myself of their hazards to my health, I saw in my periphery he was bent over. I heard a snap then a thunk as if something fell. I turned at the sound and saw a bottle of Crisco oil, it's contents shaking. I looked up to see the man rubbing his hands vigorously together, moisturizing between his fingers and then up his arms back to front straight up to the elbows. He paused, smelled his hands and gave himself a small nod as if to say, "it's not too bad'. I thought, 'did he just cream his skin with Crisco oil, nah couldn't be.' Doubtful, I took another surreptitious look at the man's basket and there almost winking at me was the Crisco oil. There were no creams in his basket. I thought, 'hmmmmmm mmmmmm, mind your business, to each, his own,' and moved on to the cash register number 4 as it was my turn. Mentally, I reasoned, 'people use Olive oil, avocado 🥑 oil, coconut 🥥 oil as moisturizers, why not Crisco oil?'


  1. Dear Rhapsody,
    I enjoyed reading your story because not only it was well written but also it pulled out all the stops for me : a vivid description teeming with life, colors, sounds, smells and emotions. Your writing brings the characters to life, people are real people living in their own little universe but coming together by chance in the most pedestrian of places, a grocery store. The story has an authentic ring to it. Without a doubt you have a flair for writing!

    1. Thank you Edith. I appreciate your feedback. Glad you enjoyed.

  2. I would imagine that Crisco would work just as well as any other oil. The idea is vaguely off-putting though. Is it because I prefer the texture of lotion to oil?(which seems way greasier)

    1. Absolutely, although necessity is the mother of all inventions as it causes us to think outside the box and thus come up with solutions that would suffice in the moment.


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