In the grocery store, the aisles are full of undergraduate students moving to town, some away from home for the first time. I see excitement in their hands, their flushed faces. They buy boxes and boxes of macaroni.
In the soda aisle, two young men argue over three golden bags of Lays Original. One holds a jug of sweet and sour base, the other, six tubes of instant pina colada. In the cart, they stack red Solo cups with blue boxes of macaroni. They heft cases of Bud Light Lime and Pabst Blue Ribbon.
"It tastes like piss," one says, "but we can use it for beer pong."
A set of parents enjoys the excitement, for the most part. The stand together at the end of the aisle. Each has one hand gripped to the gray plastic cart. The mother looks at the other busy parents, neck craned, but the father looks down the aisle.
He is waiting for their son to bound up to them with his arms full, waiting for their son to fill the empty cart.
Shaun Turner writes in West Virginia, where he is a 2nd year MFA student at West Virginia University, and fiction editor for Cheat River Review. His work been published or is forthcoming at Southwest Review, Night Train, Hobart, and Word Riot, among others.