Research...At Wal-Mart

Throughout history, authors have found inspiration in the beautiful and grotesque. Muses of all shapes and kinds. Social upheaval. Things so moving that it compelled all of those sworn to the written word to lay words upon page. It has been this way since the first cavemen painted on walls. It remains thus today, when author Armand Rosamilia visits the apex of all human civilization known as...Wal-Mart.

As a writer, I know sometimes you need a break from writing. More accurately: my wife will tell me. She comes home from working a very stressful real job (emphasis is mine, not hers… she thinks this is really a job for me. Crazy!) and sees me in the same ratty sweatpants and black t-shirt I’ve had on for three days, my beard beginning to fill out and getting me closer to mountain man looks, and I’m pacing around the living room mumbling. Lots of mumbling.
She’ll tempt me from the house with thoughts of pizza and/or Chinese food, which would be my diet staples if she’d let me. Never mind the weight I’ve put on in the last seven or eight years as a full-time author. Someday science will catch up and my Pizza and Chinese Food Diet will sweep the nation.
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:
WE ATTEMPTED TO FIND APPROPRIATELY FUNNY
PHOTOS OF WAL-MART CUSTOMERS FOR THIS PIECE.
MANY WERE FUNNY. 
NONE WERE APPROPRIATE.
Anyhoo… invariably, after we go out and eat dinner with the rest of polite society, and me wearing actual shorts (I wear jorts a lot… much to the consternation of my wife) she casually steers us to Wal-Mart or a supermarket.
To me, shopping is akin to going to the dentist’s office, only more painful.
All these random people getting between me and the candy aisle. Children screaming. Mothers telling their children to stop screaming.
My wife swears she hates shopping with me, so I’m not sure why she’s punishing herself. Unless she has a plan…
About twenty minutes into my complaining she grabs the items she came for, cuts her browsing every aisle to a minimum, and we head for the register. You know, the one that is actually open.
I complain about how slow it’s taking. How I need to get home to write. How I’m feeling stale lately when it comes to characters for the latest story. How… wait a minute…
HONESTLY. 
OLD MEN IN DIAPERS, OLD WOMEN IN THONGS
PEOPLE ON THEIR HONEYMOON, IN WEDDING DRESSES.
AND MULLETS. LOTS OF MULLETS. 
By the time I get back to the car with all of the stuff she’s bought (not enough of it being pizza or Chinese food) one of the many people bothering me is on my mind.
“You know that annoying lady wearing the pajama bottoms with her thong sticking out and no bra? She kept staring at the tall guy with the glasses. Did you see that?” I ask.
“Yes.” My wife loves to people-watch as much as I do, although I never admit it. She loves it.
“I wonder what her story is…”
My All-Knowing Wife smiles. “Maybe there’s a story in there or at least a character for whatever it is you’re mumbling about, er… working on.”
Maybe…
Sometimes I get so involved in the blinking cursor on the screen and feel the need to sit in my seat and write, but I forget the real writing happens when you’re engaged with the life around you.
Especially with the Pajama Thong Lady and Tall Glasses Guy.
Yeah, there’s a story in there somewhere, waiting for me to write it.
Back to work… until it’s time for pizza or Chinese good again, at least.
OKAY. SINCE YOU MADE IT THIS FAR. 
HERE'S ONE. 
***
Armand Rosamilia is a crime thriller, horror and contemporary fiction author living in Jacksonville Florida, although his New Jersey roots shine through in his writing and the way he talks in third person. Find him at https://armandrosamilia.com and on Twitter at @ArmandAuthor

Thanks Armand! 

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