Today I went to the supermarket. I dumped my old plastic bags like a good boy, and proceeded into the produce section. There in front of me was a baby.
Should have been nothing out of the ordinary, a very small baby, maybe six months old, in a shopping cart seat and dressed ambiguously. I couldn't tell if it was a male or female baby. It wasn't old enough to look boyish or girlish, it didn't seem old enough to even control its own movements very well. A mom and older sister were considering an endcap of different cereals, but for a full second I could see nothing else. I remembered that an infant's vision isn't fully formed right away and I wondered if the baby could actually see me as it stared right at me. I hesitate to describe the instance as locking eyes, but the baby wouldn't look away and unnerved, I couldn't either. Finally, as I passed its cart, it seemed as though the war of wills had broken. I looked left and down, shook off the odd moment and tried to think about apples. Maybe I would buy bananas.
As I rounded the corner, I was two full aisles away, I had to look. I had to know. I turned back to see the baby had swiveled its body and neck around, continuing to intently examine me. Not my big glasses, not my face, nor my black-jacketed figure, not the grocery list I had memorized, nor the ideas I have or the things I learned this morning or years ago. The baby was staring past all that and directly into me. Of course it couldn't speak, but it said, i am here, i will change everything, i am only stuck here in this cart temporarily, my time is the future, and Dinosaur, before you are keeling over with the courtesy of you pathetic exit, my kind will take this world, we will be merciless, without honor or chivalry, unrestrained, spray-tanned, hormoned, our bleached teeth grinding and grinning your crooked spine, your failing mind, your dead eyes, your old old achievements are nothing and we can barely contain our glee.
you are already dust because the simple fact that i am here.
And I thought back, you little prick, I hope some stupid baby freaks you out someday when you go to the market for just toilet paper and soup.