What Kmart is Like Now

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The shower curtain started falling down on a regular basis, but it only fell down when I was naked. “We need to fix this,” I yelled. I was about to get in the shower. I balanced the shower curtain in one hand and showered. “This is annoying,” I yelled.

We decided to buy a new shower curtain rod only. We liked our shower curtain. It was mostly red with yellow stripes. Our Christmas gift cards to Target were spent. We don’t go to Wal-Mart; it used to be because of the mid-2k angst about Wal-Mart but now they sell energy-saving light bulbs to all the non-energy saving people, so now we mostly don’t go because of the long lines. And the blinding flourescent lights that I remember circa 2 years ago, when I went to Wal-Mart to use the bathroom on a roadtrip. I always use the bathroom at Wal-Mart on roadtrips. I flush their toilets several times and leave without having bought anything, not even one of their .25 cent sodas. Maybe they don’t have those anymore.

We decide to go to Kmart.

Across the street from Kmart is Wal-Mart. The Wal-Mart is 2-3 years old. They tore down a “dying” mall to build the Wal-Mart. I was disappointed in this. The mall was good because it had crazy neon lines on its walls. It was decorated in the 80s. It had a Mr. Gatti’s Pizza place in it.

We walk towards Kmart. In front of the store, two people are dressed in red. They are talking to someone about Olan Mills. “The studio is inside the store,” they said.

We walk in. Another lady at another table motions to me. “Would you like a rewards card?” I would. I fill out the information. I leave the birthday blank. “Does he have to fill in his birthday?” The lady asks a man behind a counter. Above the man is a sign that reads “Customer Service.” We have to have a birthday, the say. I write down some numbers. I lie about my birthday.

We look at real curtains in Kmart first. Then we look at office supplies. We find some roller paper. We look at some towels. “Martha Stewart isn’t here anymore,” I said. I see another lady on a bedspread package. Her name is Jaclyn Smith.

We find the shower curtain rods. We choose one. We walk to the checkout lines. We stop to look at some clothes. There is a long-sleeve shirt in purple and black. Plaid, maybe. There are tight work shirts. We find a long women’s sweater. My wife holds up the long women’s sweater. She says she has one at home. One that is not from Kmart.

We look for a line to check out. There are only two lines. I stand in a line. There is someone in front of me. I think of ways to “save” Kmart. I’m not sure what Kmart should do. I decide they should be “urban-kitsch.” Nothing is, I decide, more urban-kitsch than a disorganized Kmart with cracking dirty concrete and worn-out door sensor pads along abandoned thoroughfares.

I only wait in the Kmart line for 2-3 minutes. The lady checks out my shower curtain rod. Before I can swipe my card, the machine asks: “Are you likely to recommend Kmart to family and friends?” I hit the button next to “Most Definitely.”

We exit out of the Kmart. We remark how close it is to our house. The Olan Mills ladies are still outside. “Want a portrait?” they asked.

We go back to the house. I unwrap the new shower curtain rod. My wife takes down the shower curtain rod. She twists and turns it. “I think I fixed it,” she said.

We don’t understand why we went to Kmart.

The Author

Josh Spilker is a copywriter. He is the founder of I AM ALT LIT, a literary review site. He has a novella. It was published by Kuboa Press. It is called Ambient Florida Position. Find him on twitter, @joshspilker

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  • Emily G

    This is the least relevant post to anything, ever.

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