The Wal-Martian Chronicles Part II: Another Saga of Suburban Deep Space

The air in your house is not right, so you set forth on a Tuesday night journey of ennui.

The sky is clear and dark; the streetlights are further apart than you remember. Away from the main street, it feels like an abandoned colony on the moon. Whatever signs of life you see in the open air, the older lady walking to her car, the bunny rabbit running through the grass by the railroad tracks, seem out to get you. When you walk by a bright wall, you see the red and blue differentials of your shadow. If you wore 3-D glasses, you'd swear your shadow was trying to choke you.

You enter Spaceship Wal-Mart, familiar with its surroundings. In the corridor between Eat and Be Eaten, someone recognizes you. You talk for a few minutes with him, about the abhorrent state of the economy, and journalism in particular. You have to ask him his name, for you have absolutely no clue who this guy you're bumping fist to work gloved fist with is. After looking around, flipping through a couple of magazines, you leave without buying anything.

You walk through the parking lot, hurtling further and further into the void. Half the shopping center has just been built, with most of the new stores having signs that say "Available". Further down, behind the post office, you see the Golden Corral, looking virtually untouched since it opened four years ago, and since it closed last year. Those who know your appetite blame you for closing the all-you-can-eat buffet, but you never had the chance. An ominous sign tells you of an asphyxiation risk, for a carbon dioxide tank has yet to be claimed from the site.

You continue on your Space Oddity. You have a ways to go before returning home, Major Tom. Look at the stars. Look at the police lights. Look at the Fantasy Showbar, once the subject of a Supreme Court decision, now surprising you with its OPEN light on. Take your Wawa brand sunflower kernels and may God's love be with you...

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