I hope you like this picture I took last night, even though it’s not a good picture. I’m looking for some kind of bright side to what happened after I’d taken it.

I’d been waiting in line for a long time. Long enough to look up, see these lights and think, “Why?”

After I paid for my things, I scooted off to the side to snap a couple of pictures. First, this one. But as I went to take a second that included the cold storage underneath these lights, I suddenly felt something on me, skin on my face, a mouth on my ear. And then a bark, hot and frantic and human in my ear.

IN
MY
EAR.

I screamed and jumped. Maybe in that order? I don’t know. Have you ever had someone bark into your head? Things get weird.

Behind me stood the tiny homeless woman I’d seen sitting outside earlier, screaming at everyone that we had no right to be happy. In retrospect, maybe she had only been yelling at me.

Dressed in black, her head wrapped in a shawl, she looked exactly like the Evil Queen from Snow White when she handed over the poison apple.

I am still holding my hand to my head as she screamed, "No picture taking!"

"Yes, ma’am!"

(I will never understand my jacked-up fight or flight reflex. ‘Yes, ma’am?’ Really?)

As I was busy getting the fuck out of there, she turned to the line of men who just watched this shit happen, and she goes, "This kind of thing has happened before." So to any others of you out there who’ve had this happen to them in this weird store: Dude, I’m so sorry. That sucks.

I’m learning that one of the dangers of looking up is that you don’t see who’s coming to get you from down below.