by Teresa Finney

Earlier tonight I was sitting in a Starbucks doing work when I got a text message that kind of made me feel like what I imagine getting stabbed in the chest must feel like.

About four employees were running around the store, digging into boxes strewn about, setting up the Christmas displays all around me. One guy wore a Santa hat. Another employee said “excuse me” as she hung a window display next to the table I was sitting at. After she’d secured the decoration, it was just me and Rudolph at the table.I double-checked my phone to see if he (a man, not Rudolph) had replied to my last message. He hadn’t so I left before the room started to spin, or I got visibly upset in public for the thousandth time in my life, but not before “Jingle Bell Rock” came on.

It was extremely fucking surreal.