The cashier swipes my items across the scanner as I stare at the floor. I find it easiest to get through my anxiety by avoiding eye contact with other people. That’s why I only go shopping at night: fewer people to avoid.
“Did you find everything okay?” she asks casually.
“Mm-hmm,” I mumble to the floor. Her voice sounds nice. Pleasant. Curiosity wins over and I glance up.
The cashier’s head is completely caved in on the left side, blood streaming out her eye and ear on the right. Probably a car accident. I snap my gaze back down towards the floor and feel vomit at the back of my throat.
After I pay she gives back my change in a hand so mangled I’m surprised it can hold anything at all.
Thanking her, I grab my bags and turn towards the exit. Immediately I see a man looking through magazines at the storefront. The skin on his face and hands is the consistency of a hot dog that fell into a campfire. Burn victim.
I turn the other way and see a woman with a purple bruise surrounding her neck, her eyes bugged out and bloodshot. Death by hanging.
I rush out the door as fast as I can. In my car I finally catch my breath as I lean my forehead on the steering wheel. Eventually I look up and see my familiar reflection in the rear-view mirror: my head is blown open in the back. Gunshot victim.
Why did I ever wish for the power to see how people die?