The checker asked if I was making tacos, and I confirmed that that was my plan for the night. We made small talk as she checked my groceries and bagged them.

I picked them up when she was done, and she said, “Enjoy your tacos!”

Walking away, I said, “Thanks! You, too!”

Out of the corner of my eye I saw her pause; I also paused and took a moment to look upward at nothing in particular, as if I might find the thing that makes me say things like this clinging to one of the aged foam drop-ceiling tiles.

I thought about stopping and saying more, but I found myself just shaking my head a little and walking away, repeating, “Thanks! You, too!” to myself silently during the walk back to the car.