There’s a Walgreens downtown filled with attitudinal black women. I go there on my breaks or just after work for a dark chocolate Kit Kat. I may look tired at times but typically my hair is always done and my make up is serving its purpose. I definitely don’t look homeless which someone may believe to be true if they saw me at the Walgreens a block from my house. That Walgreens employs three fine black men. If you’re a black woman breathing the air that all the rest of us are breathing you know that those odds just don’t exist anywhere. Three fine black men work a block away from my bed but I go to this Walgreens on my days off or long after work is over. Long after I’ve stripped off the days costume and replaced it with sweatpants and a stained t-shirt. When I plan to go there I try my best to make whatever I have on work for public consumption, which means covering up just enough that no one can tell I’m not wearing a bra and tucking the excess fabric of my head scarf under a hat. Sometimes I wear my glasses, believing them to be some kind of invisibility cloak but I only end up looking like a homeless person that could win a spelling bee. I go to this Walgreens to buy hair removal products, tampons, sprays that make my puss’ smell like fresh laundry, $4 bottles of wine and sometimes cookies. I am an angry-looking, worn out, twenty-something with hairy legs at this Walgreens and this never fazes me until one of the three aforementioned men rings me up.
For all the days I spend “on”, it’s nice to be “off” at moments like these when all I want is new nail polish and to be left alone. I’m only ever slightly intrigued when I see these cuties because I know how different the story would be had I showed up to the store in all my glory.