Fugitive Firefly

Running away with the last bit of hope

The price of chapstick

I sat there, staring blankly at the wall. What am I forgetting? I looked around and bit my lip. The feel of cracked skin was the reminder-- Chapstick! I swung my backpack over my shoulder and walked out. Snow was falling lightly, adding to the two feet that had already accumulated. So the weatherman was right. Again. How much longer is his winning streak gonna last?

The closest drug store was about three blocks away, but that wasn’t my destination. That drug store is crap; it has a bunch of low prices for stuff I don’t need and doesn’t carry the items I do need. Therefore my destination was the good drug store, the one that was just a couple more blocks away. Or so I thought.

The weather had discouraged many pedestrians but there were still a few out with a mission-- hot food, fuel, medicine, chapstick…
My steps quickened as the building came into view, and then slowed again when I saw that it was the wrong store. I stood there for a moment, contemplating my next plan of action, the cold weather encouraging me to turn around and grab lunch. But then I felt the broken skin on my lip. I kept on. Besides, it can’t be that much farther. 

The sidewalk’s condition worsened with each block and the buildings became more sparse. My foot slid as it stepped on pure ice. Good news, the good drugstore was at the end of the block. Bad news, the entire sidewalk was covered in ice. I kept on.

My steps were slow, measured, carefully maneuvering around other pedestrians. It was the longest block of my life but at long last, I was inside the store, browsing the aisles. It took me forever to find the brand I wanted--Why the heck is it next to nasal allergy medicine?--but the vanilla-flavored lip balm was worth it.

Price of chapstick = $3.96 + 9 blocks in the snow, 1 of which was pure ice.

Having a snow story to tell your grandkids = priceless.

“Well when I was your age, I had to walk nine 10 blocks in the snow just get to chapstick! On unsalted sidewalks, mind you.”

Yup. I am totally telling that story when I'm old.