"Bakery, under the cakes, do you want me to show you."
No inflection, no tone, all zombie. Disturbed, I shook my head and backed away toward the bakery I'd just come from. Once there, I was rooting around beneath the cakes for a suitable "damn, you're getting old" candle when another employee shuffled up to me and asked if I needed any help.
"No, thank you, well...do you know where the cards are?"
"Aisle 5, next to the candy. Do you want me to show you."
I flinched and grabbed the first candle within the grip of my fingers, which happened to be Jasmine of Aladdin fame. I didn't care. I just wanted the hell out of there. It worked out anyway, because the chick we were celebrating was fresh off the boat from a month-long Disney cruise. Happy birthday.
It's queer to me to sit beside a boyfriend on the couch playing zombie games who doesn't need to be driven to the airport within the hour to return to New York or New Jersey or New Guinea or wherever he was flown in from. Still learning what it's like when neither of us are going anywhere.