Photos by Rochelle Li, Words by Nandini Ahuja
I saw you yesterday when I was bracing myself against the cold Northeastern winds. Trying to avoid your gaze, I walked quickly, but your pull was too strong. You captured my attention.
Shaw’s Star Market.
Content with my stale vending machine fare and bloated City Co. muffins, I didn’t know anything was missing from my life until I walked into your temple. The halogen lights lining your ceiling panels lit a fire in my heart. I felt... awakened. From every direction, possibilities beckoned me to grab them, flip them over, read their nutritional facts, and purchase them. Shaw’s, you tempting bazaar you!
They say you’re bound to fall for someone like your mother and father. I say you’re bound to fall for something like your home. I long for home on this stretch of concrete I call a campus, and you, my lovely, are a neighborhood supermarket much like my own back home. The Citgo sign might be my North Star, but you’re my green light at the end of the dock.
Walking through your aisles brings me comfort and excitement. I will never be able to try all the cracker options you house, but knowing that they exist to crunch and crumble in another’s hands is enough for me. Gosh, you’re diverse. Beautiful, beautiful crisps.
I saunter down the dairy aisle, feeling the cool condensation on my fingertips as I grip a milk gallon by its neck. Do you play that Lite FM music just for me? Do you know how much I’ve longed to listen to Shania Twain but am too ashamed to play her in my room? You fulfill my every need.
It’s with a heavy heart and a heavy cart that I arrive at the cash register. Blushing red grapes, perfumed juices, and dressed up pies all go down the belt and wait patiently for me to scoop them up in my arms and take them home. I don’t want to leave you, but I know that if I don’t, I’ll be broke. Love ain’t free.
I’ll be back, my Star Market. Chances are that loopy with love, I’ll trip and drop something. And back into the market I’ll go.