The frozen food section at a quarter to twelve,
It’s a lonely place to be.
The only sound, the humming of the freezers
And the distant beep of check out girls
Scanning chips and apples, loaves of bread.
It is the place I’ve always come
Since that day you left in June.
The cold it keeps me from expiring,
Earlier than I ever should.
The sad and lonely men who drift on by,
Holding empty baskets on their arms,
Are a sad reminder of what I have become.
Their vacant eyes and down turned mouths,
Reflect with painful accuracy,
The person who I’m bound to be
A few years down the line from now.
I wish that I’d tried harder,
I wish that I’d clung on some more.
And then I’d come on shopping trips
With other couples while the sun is up.
But now I’m destined to drift around
This ghostly version of the life that I once had,
Where sad and lonely folk all pass
Underneath the buzzing lights
Of the frozen aisle.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a supermarket in the middle of the night, but it can be a little bit depressing. If you compare it to the hustle and bustle of a Saturday morning, when all of the young families and loved up couples are out in force, there is a stark contrast.
I always think that the people who go shopping in the middle of the night go there to avoid these happy people because they are sad. They don’t want to be reminded of the happiness that they are missing out on. And sometimes I wonder if they are deliberately avoiding it because they once were one of those happy people and the pain of what they lost is too great for them to bear? Perhaps they went through a divorce and now they can’t even entertain the idea of going shopping in amongst all of those happy families?
I always wonder how people end up in the places they do and I feel a great deal of empathy towards the people who I think might have a story to tell. People tend not to choose to be alone and drifting around the supermarket at midnight. There is normally a story to tell and this poem scratches at the surface of this.
If you are alone and wandering around the shops at a ridiculous hour then I hope that you can reach out and find some companionship somewhere in this world.