Midnight at the combini

Drawn to the dim neon glow, I shuffle through the night towards the light.

Doors slide open to an 8-bit jingle, which rattles my sleepless retro Tetris-thoughts.

Bleary-eyed, I scan the aisles, looking for something…..for an answer to my sleeplessness?

As I wander up and down, past the energy drinks, the greasy aroma of the hot food cabinet, past the soft-core pornography, I occasionally pass another sleepless soul.

An elderly chef stands by the photocopier, his yellowing nicotine-stained hands hold copies of his new menu. His head sways gently to the rhythm of the copy machine.

A young businessman stands at the back of the store, lost amongst the multitude of drinks in the refrigerator. His face is creased into a mask, painted with the worries from his day.

A drunkard holds himself steady against the shelves, the almost visible fumes surround him with an aura of confusion, as he stares, eyes unfocused, into the aether.

I find myself back at the door, having circumnavigated this midnight labyrinth, I emerge empty handed, back into the night … back to sleep.