Invisibility

They don’t hide their quarreling from me as they would from a person of higher status. As a cashier—a servant—I am invisible until useful. Often, it is the woman who has charge of the transaction. She determines bags or boxes, she’s in charge of coupons, she knows if it should be check or credit card. If he’s late wandering the aisles, if he picks the wrong broth, or packs ice cream with basil, she reproaches, and I become useful: I should affirm her glance, which says: Men! And very occasionally, a man will belittle his wife before me. He’s exasperated that she thinks you use an ink pen to sign the tiny screen. His seeking glance says: Isn’t my wife stupid? Both glances are ugly, but his, being more particular, is somehow uglier. Either way, I gaze intently into my scale as if it were a tiny portal to the old invisibility.

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