Monthly Archives: March 2014


I’ve become convinced that our society has secretly been infiltrated by undercover superhumans. I’m not really sure what they are planning to do once they are all in position, but there is definitely a plot of some kind afoot.

Just this past week I met two of them–one masquerading as a cashier at the Moses Lake Safeway, and the other as a salesgirl at JCPenney’s in Kennewick. The salesgirl sold me a suit for a boy I described with hand motions, and it fit.

The Safeway girl wasn’t obvious at first: There I am, piling my groceries on the conveyor belt, trying to remember what I came to the store for in the first place, when the cashier gives me a big smile. “Oh hey!” she sings out. “How are your sisters?”

“Uh. Fine?”

“Well, was it worth the trip?”

And that’s when I really look at her. Because nine weeks ago, I actually did  have a conversation with a cashier in this store about an upcoming all-sisters trip I was planning. And sure enough, It’s the same girl. I haven’t seen her in nine weeks, and I’m certain I never met her before that, and yet she remembers my trip?

“Yeah,” I tell her. “It was so worth it. It was really good.”

“Did all five of you make it? How was it meeting your half-sister for the first time?”


Who does that? Who remembers conversations with strangers in the grocery store? I can’t even remember what shirt I have on. (I tried that, actually, today in third period: One of my students was waxing eloquent on the fundamental problems of the universe, and suddenly I couldn’t remember what I was wearing. I have no clear memory of why the specifics of my wardrobe were pressingly important but I didn’t want to break eye-contact with the student in order to glance down at my own chest. That could be all sorts of awkward. I was reduced to nonchalantly itching my nose with one shoulder in order to catch a glimpse of my sleeve.) This woman probably not only never forgets what’s she’s wearing, she remembers the composition of a complete stranger’s family. I sort of wanted to buy her flowers.