Have a magical day!

by waxbanks

Because I wore a Magic Band I hadn’t thought to bring my wallet — there is no need for real money here in the Magic Kingdom — so when the time came to purchase a broad-spectrum antibiotic at the Super Target, I entered my credit card information from memory. I had a prodigious memory once, but now I have anxieties and a five-year-old son, and difficulty remembering last week in any detail; that said, years of compulsive book-buying from online sellers have driven my card number, expiration date (the card’s, not mine), and security code into my head. Or fingers. I keyed in the appropriate numbers. The credit card terminal claimed to be Unable to Process my Request. I blamed myself. I called the human representative of the credit card and its company. He seemed impressed by my swift sure recall. Together we tried to figure out which machine had rejected my request. He told me that they had ‘not even declined’ my purchase. I said to him, ‘…so this is a Super Target problem.’ Resigned and a little sad. I looked at the thick wire connecting the card reader to the computer — at least I assume it was a computer; from my angle it was indistinguishable from a soda machine, but I know better — and experienced a surge of disappointment in myself, in my way of living which had made me unpalatable to these machines, who want so badly to help, if only I would choose more thoughtfully when given the chance.

The aisle beyond the Super Target’s pharmacy was lined with baskets full of single-use shaving gels, hairsprays, and supplies of dental floss, a dollar apiece. No one sticks around here long enough to need more than that.