My preferred pharmacy is slightly inconvenient. From my old dorm it was just a couple minutes walking, but since I moved on campus it’s become slightly out of my way. No more picking up scripts on the way to the store– my health has to be scheduled now.
I could easily have switched to several pharmacies that are closer to my new location, but I stick with my old pharmacy not out of laziness (mostly) or fear that the transition would be painful. No, I stick with them because they know me by name.
Maybe they’re on the ball, these pharmacy girls. Maybe they’ve got such a steady stream of Japanese tourists that I stick out like a sore thumb. Whatever the case, I barely set foot in the door when the call out to me by name. ”Oh hello, Miss Sophielynette*. We’ll have your prescription ready in just a minute.” She doesn’t even have to check to see what I’ve come in for. She just knows. Maybe they’re psychic, these pharmacy girls. These on the ball psychic pharmacy girls.
Or maybe I’m just in there too much.
They like to chat as they’re ringing you up. How is school going? I forget when I told them I was in college, but they know.
“Going away for the holidays?” she asks when I stop in toward the end of semester.
“Just a short trip,” I reply awkwardly as she nonchalantly rings up my private life.
“Going to Japan again?” And I kind of cough a little as I realize, I really do come in here too often.
“No, just visiting family.” I collect my purchases and rush out, wondering why I feel so suddenly embarrassed.
It’s the strange sort of relationship that you have with these people who know you quite literally inside out and yet you don’t even know their names.
I grew up in a small town, where everyone knows everyone’s business and the cashier chats you up at the grocery store. I grew up and moved away from all that, to the nameless cities of transient strangers and tourists cycling in and out. I don’t mind the anonymity. I don’t pine for the country. But I still gravitate back to my little pharmacy, where they always greet me by name. Maybe I’ll learn theirs someday.
* you don’t think I’d tell you my real name, did you? Psh.