Friday, July 13, 2007

My Lunch at Target

I find myself in the unfortunate position, today, of being in Target at lunchtime, hungry and with a half-hour to kill between morning and afternoon plans. I am with my young daughter. It is not the first time we have ever eaten at Target-- nor will it, I imagine, be the very last-- but nonetheless we do not frequently eat meals of that sort. We are still capable of feeling surprise when the "lemonade" is only offered in diet, the coffee is so pale it must be a mistake, and the hot dogs, which we plan to begin eating thirty seconds later, are individually swaddled in their foil wrappings.

I am still capable of feeling a numb horror when I look down at the table, littered with the inedible remains and packagings of a meal we took no pleasure in, and gather up a double handful of trash-- two hot dog foils, a coffee cup, a wasted lemonade cup with the half-inch of lemonade I poured before I read the label, the juice box I asked for in replacement, a paper ice cream dish, a plastic spoon, a potato chip bag, ketchup and mustard packets, two napkins-- and stuff it all in the garbage can, twenty minutes after we began eating.

Don DeLillo in White Noise:
"We wanted to eat, not look around at other people. We wanted to fill our stomachs and get it over with. We didn't need light and space. We certainly didn't need to face each other across a table as we ate, building a subtle and complex cross-network of signals and codes. We were content to eat facing in the same direction, looking only inches past our hands. There was a kind of rigor in this."
Actually consumed:
  • 2 small hot dogs, contents unknown, with buns, ketchup and mustard-- minus half of one dog (the meat only) that went uneaten.
  • One very small scoop of Dreyer's (= NestlĂ©) strawberry ice cream.
  • 1 portion Archer Farms (Target store brand) potato chips.
  • 12 oz. weak Colombian coffee, doctored with 1/2 oz. Coffeemate
  • 6 oz. fruit punch
My daughter asks me why "Thank You" is printed on the mouths of so many trash cans. I explain that they are thanking us for not simply leaving our filthy messes strewn about the tables for others to pick up. But in a sense, of course, we are.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

One day now since you ate that lunch... just curious what kind of morning you had? Any dyspepsia?

myeviltwin said...

Hmm, that's annoying... you can't actually "reply" to comments here, can you? It's so primitive. Well, I must thank you for at least endeavoring to comment. :) And, no, my body does not suffer from these adventures so much as my mind.