I assume that you, dear reader, are familiar with the general store "Walmart". It was a meme for a while, and probably still is out there; people snap a picture of the patrons of Walmart and caption it something offensive because those represented in the picture appear... odd to the rest of us (example).
But this is not what this piece is about!
I'm certain that aside from the store's internet popularity, you readers have been inside one at least once. Even if it was just that one time while you were on vacation and needed to buy groceries and it was the only store that was within twenty miles, or it was New Year's Eve and it was on the way to the party you promised you'd bring sparkling juice to. Just own up to it, you know your way around a Walmart.
Have you ever noticed that vibe? The weird feeling where, as you wander up and down the aisles, you can't tell if it's two in the afternoon or two in the morning. Think how a Home Depot might be if it's empty, then multiply by twelve. And the way that time doesn't seem to pass in regular increments? If I'm at a Target or a mall somewhere, I know what time it is. An hour is an hour, and while sometimes I say I'll only be at Target for thirty minutes and I pull in the driveway two hours later, it's not because I don't know the time is passing. I am fully aware of my minutes slipping away like that Icee sliding down my throat as I browse office supplies. In Walmart, it's different. I walk in those sliding doors and the steps that I take to the cart corral takes 0.23 seconds or 6 minutes. The time I spend playing with light sabers in the toy aisle somehow takes forty five minutes, while standing in line, despite five people being ahead of me, lasts probably two. Or it's the complete opposite, and while picking out a new storage unit and grocery shopping should have been a good chunk of time the line lasts (in outside world time) almost twice as long.
Seriously. This is some Night Vale stuff. (If you don't know the best podcast ever, check it out here).
Aside from the time thing, I'm convinced that Donettes taste better when purchased from a Walmart. And the Pringles are always so neatly stacked. For whatever reason it's impossible to find a can opener there even when you ask the employees and you can see the can openers when they point to them, but as soon as you arrive right in front of where they should be, they disappear.
Walmarts mess me up, dear reader. If you know what energy surrounds them, please let me know somehow.