Bulls Eye

  • My sacred place today is a nearby Target store. Like many of its kin, it’s located in a kind of updated strip mall. Lots of parking. A movie theater and sky dive outfit next door. I’ve grown into my Targethood. I won’t be signing up for the proposed membership plan. I will remain a fan.

Today, particularly, the store reminds me of my daughters and the women they have grown to be. When I was raising them, Target was not a handy store. We had KMart or the mall with Macy’s. That began to change in their teenage years; everything changed in those years. Divorce. Their anxiety and emotional challenges with separated parents and a father who came out as gay.

Target? After my girls went off to college and we began to gather as adults at our favorite Maine beach for summer family time, we added the store as a regular outing. First, to buy the forgotten favorite shampoo. Then to browse all the clothes. Then along came my granddaughter. The baby/toddler section is both a delight and nightmare. Sunburned and lazy, we would wander the aisles, showing our intended purchases to each other. Making small splurge purchases. Toddler grand Bergie loved the big red ball out front.

Ahead to my life in what is a suburban town on the South Shore of Massachusetts. When they visit me, Target is on the must list. When I visit my Brooklyn daughter, I drive her to her local store. It’s crowded, not well kept but much of the merchandise is the same. We bond. I drive her and her purchases back to her Park Slope apartment. She is spared a subway ride or very long walk.

Today, my Brooklyn babe is having surgery. She checked in this morning to The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Her husband is managing day-of. I’ll drive down in a few days to be a helper as she recovers.

Today, I do want to be with her.

I took myself to our sprawling suburban Target store. It features a Starbucks counter–another shared affection. I can wander through summer clothes, bedding, baby clothes, and cosmetics sipping on my oatmilk latte, talking to Em in my head. Imagining the surgical wounds being closed. Waiting for her dazed awakening. Asking what she thinks of the red two-piece swimsuit. I can feel her at my side.

Get the leopard one.”

“Let’s get Oreos.”

“That’s not cruelty free.”

“Bergie would love the pink sparkles.”


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