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The supermarket dream

I am inside a very crowded supermarket. Like on a day before a long holiday. I am queuing in front of the cash and just before it’s my turn, when the items I bought are already on the conveyor belt – the cashier asks me to fetch the XYZ for the sign that says “CLOSED” in front of her cash. I don’t understand, because I don’t know what an XYZ is, so I hesitate. But the lady in front of me and the cashier look at me and both say: “Go! You see this is an emergency!”

So I try to get to the back office of the supermarket, which is difficult, as the crowd goes the opposite way – to the cash registers. I am trying to make way against the stream. I elbow, I push and shove. Finally I reach the back rooms – and find a woman sorting through empty bottles. I cannot see a face, but she has my mother’s hairstyle – but it isn’t my mother. I feel silly, I feel used, I feel like an idiot sent on a mission just for fun.

I say: “I’m here to fetch the XYZ for the “CLOSED” sign at the cash register.” And she immediately stops her work and says: “Follow me!” She has an enormous bunch of keys, but she doesn’t need them. There are no doors, just passages. As we move along I feel the need to have a conversation. “What is this XYZ? Is it like a small vacuum cleaner for the CLOSED sign?” – “Of course it is!” she responds in an angy way, as if I asked the most stupid question possible, as if I wasn’t aware of the gravity of the situation. I try to figure out why it is so important to vacuum clean the CLOSED sign, but I don’t dare to ask.

We move on in silence through immense storage rooms, high rack storage areas like cathedrals until we come to a passage where extremely luxurious living quarters start. Red carpets, art on the walls. I ask: “Do I follow you – or do I wait here?” She doesn’t answer and moves ahead, I’m not sure I’ll find my way back through the storage cathedrals so I follow. It is an immense palace with escalators moving in silence. We go up. I think of the things I bought still waiting for me on the conveyor belt. I want to get back there!

I wake up, the sun is up and I’m thirsty for coffee.

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