Psychopomp Magazine Summer 2015 - Page 12

12 | Psychopomp Magazine

Shelly Weathers

Walmart Requiem

When I died at Walmart, I left my basket unattended. I thought, Oh shit, I’m dying, and then I did. When I died at Walmart, I didn’t catch the savings, neither was I caught. When I died at Walmart, customer satisfaction rated below a five. When I died at Walmart, I rolled back like a price, froze when I hit rock bottom. When I died at Walmart, lawn and garden, bath and bedroom, kitchen and office were dead to me in return. When I died at Walmart, line three moved faster without me. When I died at Walmart, an unbeatable last chance passed with me. When I died at Walmart, unadvertised degrees of ritual and disclaimer followed: customer service representatives gathered, held hands, draped the scene in neon green vests, read the What-to-do-in-case-of Handbook over my cooling corpse. Last Rights, final deals, legal purposes. When I died at Walmart, I was in the way, soon removed to a special location, behind off-season clearance pallets, summertime snow blowers, winter swimsuits, complimentary condoms cellophaned to multipack pregnancy tests. When I died at Walmart, Michael, who works in audio, and Lana, from grocery, arranged me under a shelf of beta fish, the ones no one bought before they starved or smothered in their hatchery-sealed tubs.

Lana: I don’t like moving stiffs.

Michael: No one wants to touch the dead, but it’s not like they can help themselves.

Lana: Why should I have to carry all this dead weight?

Michael: We’re stronger than the others. The strong always give most.

Lana: I wish people would die at home.

Michael: Don’t yank on her feet like that.

Lana: Why not? She don’t complain.

Michael might be a better person than Lana, more respectful, or traditional, or superstitious, or more practical. He holds me almost tenderly by the upper arms, minimal sway.