It was the mother in the line next to me. She spoke to her toddler in an incessant sing-songy stream of nothingness that made me want to pull my hairs out, one by one.
“See junior, there’s a cart! Can you say cart? And the milk, yes that’s milk. No junior, not now. For later. Aren’t you smart, yes that’s the juice. Juice is for breakfast. What did we have for breakfast today? You’re right! Pancakes! Good remembering!”
I started to feel itchy about my neck. I rolled my head around to alleviate a kink. I shifted from antsy foot to antsy foot.
Still she went on:
“Yes junior, you can push the cart, just not too far. GOOD JOB!”
I raised my eyebrows, bugged out my eyeballs, and took a huge shoulder raising breath.
“No, no, Junior. That’s not for you. Good listeni—”
Just before hair sprouted from my forehead and jowls, just before my canines elongated at the scent of this juicy well-behaved child; just before I roared a shocking “SHUT UP!” at this poor oblivious mother, I realized it.
The transformation was upon me.
Why do folktales so consistently represent werewolves as men? Surely the stories of these fictitious beasts, who cycle with the moon from perfectly civilized human beings into maniacal spittle spattered monsters, derive from the hormonal ragings of not-so-fictional menstruating women.
Right? (I’m in no mood for contradictions).
You know, werewolves will attack, even if unprovoked. I realized as I stood in line, with fur erupting ominously from my chinny chin chin, that I had no business being there, endangering innocent children like that. I could have used an early warning system: flashing lights, a siren, and a calm but robotic woman’s voice directing customers and anyone else with a beating heart, to clear out and seek appropriate shelter. Is there an app for that?
Once it gets a hold of you, no pills, no amount of meditation, yoga or intense exercise can calm the beast. The only true remedy: isolation. Set me loose in the woods at night where I can crash through trees, gnaw on a mutton chop (organic & local of course), howl and rant at that great maddening orb of a moon that would never talk back or take offense. Doesn’t it sound glorious?!
The next morning, having forgotten the blood and the gore from the night before, I could awaken in my own lovely skin, as all werewolves do, oblivious to my transgressions. I’d smile sweetly at my unscathed children and wonder vaguely why they spent the night locked in the cellar with their intrepid father.
Alas, without the benefit of isolation in a great wild wood, I instead found myself in that grocery line, baring my teeth with menace at a perfectly innocent mother and child.
For everyone’s safety, I raced out of the store and locked myself in the house where I waited in blissful solitude until 5pm, when I could subdue the thirsty beast with a nice woody cabernet.