The convenience store across the gas station overlooking Route 66 looked exactly like you would expect it would. It was unspectacular in its rectangular shape--resembling nothing more than a cinder block with holes carved out for a pull-not-push door and a window to hang a neon red "open" sign on along with a glowing beer mug and a joint that had the smoke appearing and disappearing to advertise alcohol and cigarettes. If you ventured inside, you would find the electronics section to your left, which housed the plastic earbuds, cheap phone chargers, and rows of iTunes, Amazon, and Applebee's gift cards. To your right, extending all the way to the back of the store, would be the aisles dedicated to the myriad of every fried, fatty, and sugar-filled snack on the market as well as the discounted off-brand counterparts for the ones who couldn't afford such a luxury. And if you were so inclined as to take a look inside the aisles, you would find the usual suspects: a trucker looking to buy a diet Pepsi for the road (diet because he's trying to lose some weight, but finds that difficult given his occupation and the duffle bag full of Cool Ranch Doritos he keeps at the foot of the passenger seat), a mother with her two young boys picking out bags of gummy bears and a king-size Snickers bars for the remainder of their long car ride to a family-friendly destination, a deadbeat teenager trying to sneak a handful of beer cans underneath his Slipknot band tee, and an equally deadbeat cashier who is too invested in reading about the end of "Brangelina" from the tabloid he took from the magazine rack to notice. Basically, you will find that everyone is doing their own thing, and no one else cares what anyone else is doing. The role and faces here are unrehearsed: no one is trying to look impressive--to flaunt their wealth, social class, occupational prestige, or appearance. We're in a convenience store--no one gives a flying fuck. Here, you will find that we all have a slight haze glossing over our eyes, a heavy drag to our step, and a sigh being held in our throats. But I'm here to let you know that it's okay to release it now. Breathe easy. Because trying is hard. And while you might have to put up with all of life's bullshit out there, I hope you will be able to find peace in the fact that you don't have to try so hard here.
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