Toward A History Of Needs

I borrowed the title from Ivan Illich.

This was my "convenient" supermarket stop on the way home from work. It was also was particularly depressing - even for a supermarket.  I passed figures slumped against the outside wall - the walkway wet and rank. Then the charity tables at the entrance.  "God bless you..."  always an admonishment as I walked heedlessly by.

 Inside was claustrophobic, sad and crowded with impatient people.

A few images; A  pair of unkempt metal tureens of soup on a steam table.

A flower section with "Happy Birthday" and "Get Well" balloons" stuck on the ceiling.

An odd little movie rental machine.

The new supermarket rising from the rubble will doubtless be bigger, brighter and serve us all better.
It will probably have some self-checkout machines -to reduce staffing.

Once a shoplifter dashed out the doors activating the alarm. Staff members (who had obviously been trained to work as a team) pursued and apprehended the man. As I was returning to my car, he was down on the the parking lot pavement -surrounded. I had an image of  " a fox run to ground."

My favorite cashier was possibly native American. She wore stunning silver jewelry both stylish and dignified - that was beautifully incongruous with her uniform and whatever smiley-faced slogan button she was compelled to wear.

The fallen plaster adorns the small pal, like a hair shirt, during its wretched final days of existence.


The "Market Place" exists for fulfillment of needs.

And just whose needs might those be?

The huddled destitute,

The cup rattling charities,

We "consumers" in our impatient rush,

The stockholders of the corporation,

The regional manager who'll cut the ribbon for the grand reopening,

The CEO of the whole shebang.

The rats picking through the wreckage?

Poem © Dorian Cohen


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