So I’ve been listening to Wayne Dyer seminars on YouTube this week, and I’ve decided to recreate my life because I’m tired of my old life, and if Wayne Dyer says I can create a new life, then I can, right? I want to be someone with a calm, quiet, serene mind. I’m tired of my old mind. It won’t shut up. Especially around negative people. They drive my brain cells crazy. So I’ve decided to become someone with a quiet, calm, serene mind, someone bothered by no one. A new me. I had planned to cut all the negative people out of my life, and be done with it. But then Wayne Dyer said negative people come into my life to teach me a valuable lesson. He said the new me should seek the lesson and learn from it. Bummer. Okay. If Wayne says that’s what I should do, I’ll do it. And I’ll start with PetSmart. I love PetSmart. I’ve shopped there for years. But now the crankiest employee in the store runs the cash register. I call her Grumpy. She’s. Pure. Torture. The old me had already decided to take my business down the street to Petco. But Wayne would disapprove. I know he would. So the new me will seek the lesson. And that’s why I’m at PetSmart today, walking through the door, watching Grumpy snarl at me. I grab a bag of cat food and stand in line. “What’s your phone number?” Grumpy growls when I reach the register. I tell her, and she enters it. “Tina Robinson?” she asks, checking the computer screen. “That’s me,” I say, smiling cheerfully. “Somebody killed my neighbor’s dog,” she says, glaring at me like I’m the murderer. “How awful,” I say, when she hands me the receipt. I give her my best smile, and I’m out the door. Wayne was right. Grumpy did have something to teach me. Life is short. Too short. Off to Petco I go. Sorry, Wayne. I tried.     

Laura Stamps loves to play with words and create experimental forms for her fiction. Author of several novels and short story collections, including IT’S ALL ABOUT THE RIDE: CAT MANIA (Alien Buddha Press). Muses Prize. Pulitzer Prize nomination. 7 Pushcart Prize nominations. Mom of 5 cats. Twitter: @LauraStamps16.    

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