Like the ‘h’ in ‘uh-oh’

Shopping. Endless shopping. This was the realm that he lived in. To buy or not to buy. But there really wasn’t a choice: it was, in fact, to buy. There was food, of course, that much was obvious. There wasn’t a person on earth that didn’t need food. Beef sticks. Cheese slices. Bread. Little heads of lettuce. These were the things
he bought. Then clothes. Hats and socks and things with buckles. He wore glasses from Italy with expensive coatings. He needed toiletries of course. He had a limitless need for toilet tissue, soap, toothpaste, shampoo, and facial moisturizer. The pillow he owned was made from foam designed to give an astronaut above the Earth a good night’s rest. His own sleep he tracked with a device on his wrist. Every morning he looked at the report it had generated. He averaged two hours of deep sleep and five hours of light sleep. “If only I could get more deep sleep,” he always thought.
He watched a man smoke a cigarette. He watched a man drive a car. He watched a man walk. He was surrounded by men. He asked what could be done about the red light that blinked on his dashboard. “It will cost $1,000 to repair. Can you come back on Tuesday?” He ate a bacon and egg sandwich wrapped in pancakes.
“If you let one thought roll around your head each day, you’ll have a collection of polished thoughts at the end of your life.” Mrs. Griffith had said that. He thought about it every once and a while. He ate a hash brown.

Christopher Anthony’s stories have appeared in Quick Fiction, New York Tyrant, and Asymptote Journal, where he was a contributing editor. He lives in Madison, WI, with his wife Katrina. His other stories can be found online at