All ready for carting around supermarket goods and gnawing away at toddlers, the humble shopping trolley faces many round trips. Most of these will be with gummy wheels, swivving back and forth as the rest carry on about the business. What you rarely see is the one that ends up lost of its own volition, rolling away not of the carpark, but of the rank and file.
A shopping trolley's life is a mundane one. Sitting in rows all eating out and within each other's rear ends, they wait for the spotlight. They wait until a consumer or hapless shopper is ready for them. Taking a stroll around the limits of the store. Up the aisle. Down the aisle. Up this aisle, down the next. Again and again.
A stuck life, droopy in exurbia, between the here and not now. The scent of fresh grass teases them. It's only the spritzing session of the greens and vegetables. The glow of the fluorescents, artificial but of course. Going nowhere fast and occasionally packing a small child; teeth ineffectual, a stomach non-existent. Malnourishment is rife. Just look, they're no skin or meat (save from the butcher), just bones and wiry at that.
Others brace well the hard lean on handles, the shopper gliding down and riding a bent before the take down of the specials stand of rat poison.
Their cards, as life deals it from the factory floor, riffles and shuffles out a Svengali deck. A seemingly normal excise of the brain leaving them short the real glory of fullness. Quite the underbit, a bit under not so rare. Escape is all they want. Escape is what traps them there.
Parking lot of dreams they call to, wheeling the soon-to-be trash, hopes dash dashing through once more to open end the rear end. Those bays in wait. So close to the parking garage exits, but falling under the same fate as their brothers, sisters and cousins shivering on the approach of the trolley gang. Round 'em and back home. Safe from the wilderness of freedom.
Even their own wheels and trucks want to free themselves, wiggling and waggling, the illuviation most apparent of their inborn desires for travel made bare. That aint just soil on their rims. Thems the dreams crusting out of tears and gentle sobs as the lights go out after trading hours.
Sad is a state of mind if you don't
Keep an eye on the ones that make it out back on their own. The dangerous ones. They gots hopes in their matrix of eyes. And hope is a gaudy thing. Best be wary.
Written on Sunday, 27 June 2010