“Oh my god, it is so annoying!” I say this to MB as we walk down the street. “I mean, how does anything even stay in business? It’s ridiculous!”
MB rolls his eyes.
“You complain about this every Sunday,” he says.
“Because it annoys me every Sunday! I mean, look at this, what if we wanted to make cheeseburgers? Not possible, no store to buy buns, or lettuce, or cheese…I mean, cheese for heaven’s sake! We are in France, right? I mean shouldn’t there be like a 24-hour cheese shop or something?”
MB tunes me out as I continue on my tirade. It is one he has heard many times before. Suddenly, he stops walking and clutches my arm. I am still rambling.
“I mean, can you imagine? Going to the 24-hour cheese shop at 3am after a night of drinking; that would be a great way to gain wei—what’s wrong?”
His grasp tightens.
“Are you okay?” I follow his eyes; they are fixated on a building across the street.
“Those people are there, yes?” He looks at my shocked face. We lock eyes.
“They are there,” I say, stunned.
We turn back to look at the building and suddenly the clouds part and a beam of light comes shining down upon our neighborhood Casino Grocery Store.
That is open.
Past one pm.
On a Sunday.
We approach slowly, as you would a cool, pool of water in a desert; convinced that at any moment it might evaporate. But no, it is real and in that moment, the world changes.
I remember whinging to my Mother about everything being closed on Sundays.
“It’s horrible! It makes everything so crowded on Saturdays; when are you supposed to do your grocery shopping?”
My Mother had sighed, wistfully. “It reminds me of when I was a little girl. Nothing was ever open on Sundays. It was kind of nice.”
I remember thinking she was crazy. “Try it as an adult,” I had thought to myself.
But now, staring at the Casino Grocery, for the briefest of moments, I feel regret…as though something has been lost.
MB laughs, and it snaps me out of my reverie.
“HA! Now what will you complain about?” He looks at me with a smirk.
I give him a face but laugh anyway.
“Don’t you worry, buddy, I’ll find something!”
He puts his arm around me and kisses me on my forehead.
“I know you will, baby.”
“So, cheeseburgers?” I ask, knowing there is ever only one answer to this question.
“OUAIS!” MB responds before crossing the street.
For a moment I hang back and look at the grocery store. “The end of an era,” I think. And then, I cross the street.