November 28, 2008
Dear Diary,

Lord have mercy, I have seen the worst I’ve ever seen in my life today. I woke up before dawn and packed my lunch box full of momma’s dressin’ and green bean casserole left over from yesterday. When I got there, hundreds of customers were standing outside, shivering in their mittens and scarves with the hope of purchasing the perfect gifts for the perfect price. More for less. I could see it in their ravenous eyes.

Ben let me in through the back door, glancing first both ways like he was gonna send the kids across the street or somethin’. “Gotta make sure none of the vultures sneak in before open,” he chuckled as he shut the door behind me. I sighed, reluctantly took off my coat, and wrestled my arms into my blue vest.

I manned my side of the south entrance, ready to greet the shoppers as the store opened for the early bird specials. Jdimytai stood across the pathway and saluted me, grinning as if he was somewhat happy to be there. I was wishing I could rewind it to yesterday when I was sittin’ by the fire with my family, eatin’ turkey and watchin’ the kids wrestle daddy on the carpet.

As the doors opened, the crowed rushed in, and I had to back away to keep from being pushed. I slithered my way into the corner of the automatic doorway, right beside the movie rental machine. I had never seen such ferocity in my life, and it was as if the holiday spirit of hell had overtaken all of those souls.

Once the swinging handbags and stomping feet finally began to recede, I looked across the way but didn’t see Jdimytai. I began walking, step by step, across the aisle toward the women’s restroom, and I gasped as I looked down to see J.D. lyin’ there on the floor.

“Help, in the name of Jesus, help me!” I screamed as loud as I could as I slid down to my knees and placed my ear against the heart of my friend. He felt warm, yet I couldn’t find a pulse in his chest or his neck. I was wailin’, and no one could hear me, ‘cause they were all too eager to buy new iPods for their grandkids, reindeer for their front yards, little nativity scenes of baby Jesus being born as my friend lay there dead. I wondered whether they would know before they left. I could feel my lungs bursting, I was screaming so loud, and no one could hear me, and I felt like I was going to have to throw myself onto a checkout counter and grab that man with the silver wrapping paper by the shirt and ask him, “DID YOU KNOW, DID YOU EVEN KNOW MY FRIEND IS DEAD?”

And as I ran out of breath, ran out of the tears, I heard the intercom say overhead, “Attention Wal-Mart shoppers, we an emergency situation within the premises. Please vacate the building immediately.”