The man felt weak. Exhausted.
Artificial light radiated down from twenty feet above, sucking his life force away and dispersing it harmlessly among the dusty rafters of the enormous building.
He propped his forearms on the curved handle of the shopping cart, trying to position his weight such that the metal, wheeled cage would support him without slipping from beneath.
He propped one foot on the undercarriage of the cart, where the toilet paper goes.
He was afraid he might scream. Not just in his head, but out loud.
The man’s wife was nowhere to be found. She had skipped down an aisle some 15 minutes ago on a gleeful quest for the perfect set of bed sheets, ant-proof food storage, drawer organizer, plastic shelving unit, desk lamp, and a container of giant pretzels.
Her first-born was entering college this week, and it would be perfect, by God.
The man checked his iPhone obsessively, hoping a red notification would be there.
“You just won the lottery!” the notification might say. Or, “Preseason has been canceled because everybody hates it, and real football begins this afternoon!”
The stacks were closing in on him. Diapers. Tupperware. A mustachioed, smiling man clutching a pillow.
The man’s knees began to buckle and the world darkened. Then, he remembered his wife’s parting instructions.
His eyes brightened, and his back straightened. Suddenly, the cart was in motion.
Previously Published on Doofus Dad