Do you ever wonder what people say about you in the grocery store? Because, they’re mean. Nobody is better than you. They’re talking about every living thing that walks by. Just like you. People are talking about me right now in aisle five, they don’t like my shirt.
It’s okay. I hated their haircuts.
In my daydreams I often imagine myself fitting in with the people I love. Feeling comfortable around them, maybe even drawing laughter from something clever I’ve said. When I leave, they say nice things about me, just like they say to my face. I know it’s a fantasy.
My friends and family tend to describe me as generous, kind, loyal, and compassionate. At least, that’s what they say while I’m around.
None of those things are easy for me. I wish I could demand exact change from people in return for every inconvenience they cause me. If my loyalty were conditional, at least I could let people go. When people suffer near me, it would be much less trouble to just tell them that I’m suffering too, so they should go hide in the dark like me.
I smile at the grocery store clerk, and ask her how her day has been. She smiles back and tells me all about how difficult the drop-off line at her son’s school is. I don’t care, but I want her to feel better.
When I go outside, I help an old woman put her groceries in the car. She tells me I’m a nice boy. I don’t tell her she’s a liar, I just tell her to be careful on the ice.
I carry all the things I dream myself to be in the glove compartment of my truck. When I feel like crying, sometimes I drive my glove compartment all over the county.
Other times, I open the compartment and take them out just to look at them, wondering what they would cost. Window shopping, really.
I keep my monster in a storage locker on the corner of 8th and Main. It screams sometimes when I’m on my way by.
There’s an abandoned shop next door where I hide my knives, just in case I need them again.
If people think I’m creepy or strange, I understand. That’s how I feel too. Some people don’t have to fight so hard to be kind and considerate of others. I’m just trying my best, and I fail. Sometimes when I go to the store, I just buy groceries and go home.
There are days when I say mean things in my head about people shopping near me, and I bet you do too.
When the nights are tough, I just go home to my apartment on 8th and Main, and shut out the world for a while.
But some days on my way home from Target, I play catch with the kid across the street, who’s growing up without his dad around. I bet he doesn’t think I’m so bad. I’m proud of those days, even though I can still hear the monster scream from down the road.
Logan Cox is a fictional character that lives in Europe. You can find his work in the online journal Maudlin House, with upcoming publications set to appear in Flash Fiction Magazine and Button Eye Review. He can be found at the kitchen table, often arguing with his family over the rules of in-home game show play.