when will my dad stop speaking to me in exaggerated, drawn out, repeated phrases like “holly, bad girl! stop!” as if i’m a dog or a tiny child and not a 20 year old being admonished for drinking water or opening a window
N1: Realize it is raining. Be determined to go to Costco anyway. A little rain can’t stop you! Even though you don’t have a car. It’ll be okay. You’ll be fine. You’re tough. You’re tougher than this.
N2: Arrive. Be firm when people try to steal the cart you’ve been waiting for for several minutes. Be prepared to Renegade interrupt. You probably won’t hurt that old lady too much. Besides, she’s probably a Reaper agent. She’s got a look in her eyes. Don’t let her fool you.
N3: Maneuver through the front door. The faint of heart may turn back here. There’s no shame in this. Some people aren’t cut out for the higher N-levels. Walk through a bizarre blast of heat. Begin to sweat.
N4: Why, why, why on God’s green earth did you think Costco on a Sunday was going to be anything less than hell?
N5: You must survive this. You must go on. Do not become distracted by the people giving out free samples. No tiny square of cheese is worth standing in yet another line 20 people deep. You can do this. Your hunger is meaningless. You are being purified.
N6: Just when the end is in sight, the dreaded Line of Doom stretches before you. It is the most intense battlefield you have ever seen. Why is anyone buying so much smoked salmon? What could anyone need that much smoked salmon for? Realize the woman in front of you is already far more advanced that you: she is purchasing a swimsuit without having been able to try it on. Salute her. She is a brave, brave soul.
N7: Load your giant backpack. It seemed like such a good idea at home. Bring a backpack. It is huge. It belongs to your 6′3″ husband. This backpack now weighs half what you do. The Hackett in your head urges you on. Gasping, the weight of the universe on your shoulders, breathe, “What do you need me to do?” “Get on the Skytrain. Yes. That means making it up all those stairs,” says Hackett. “Hope that none of your orange juice cartons explode in there on the way home.”
Once home, wear your red stripe with pride as you survey your spoils. So many crackers. So many. So. Many. Eat some. With the cheese you fought so hard for.