I discovered the true meaning of a mantra today.

Those who know me recognize me as someone who pretty much despises the seething masses of humanity. That’s not to say that I hate you all individually; but, if you approach me in a vast, inconsiderate group, pushing your little shopping carts around listlessly, randomly stopping in the middle of an aisle to chat, perpendicular parking so that you can get that bottle of juice from the other aisle, etc…I will be forced to destroy you.

It’s not that I have a problem with crowds, either. On average, at 6′ tall, I’m at least a full head above most people. I enjoy public spaces like parks and museums and concerts and whatnot. It’s the Wallmarts. Targets, and CostCos that I can’t stand. Maybe it’s the lemming-ish bowing to capitalism that bothers me, or the oppressive mood of a collective organism with the singular purpose of slowing me down, getting in my way, and killing me slowly with hypertension. I don’t know.

So today found me in CostCo. Any overcrowding I experienced, I definitely asked for as I went exactly at noon…on a Saturday. Realizing in advance that I was tempting a potentially inconvenient murder, I pre-empted my visit by deciding on a mantra: “Patience is a virtue.” So there I was…weaving slowly in and out of the cattle lined up for free samples, waiting patiently for momma and pappa to retrieve their 1.4 kids from the path of my cart, politely saying “excuse me” if I needed to get by, all the while muttering under my breath “patienceisavirtue, patienceisavirtue, patienceisavirtue.”

And…I was serene. I flowed over the masses like a surfer in his element. There was a slight falter when a guy behind me painfully rolled his cart over my heel without even an “oops”; but, I was able to limit my interaction with him to only a slow, bored, “Owwwww”, let out sighingly to no one in particular.

My name is David Kleeman, and patience is a virtue.

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