“Second Thoughts”

by | Dean Cleaning One

** Based on the Day One segment:  Objects: An Opening **


The shopping cart pauses.


“Don’t fall for something twice.  Take my advice, it’s cheaper than a 

self-improvement seminar,” the clearance book whispered, during

their one-and-only encounter.

A rendezvous has been promised, before

On this same avenue.


The cart from the store/whose name shouldn’t be mentioned 


The competitor store –




The other cart stood it up.


  1. Trent

    There are a couple of concepts in play here.

    I considered “Abandoned Cart Template & What it does between messages” or something like that, as a title.
    We’ve all abandoned a cart at one time – and sometimes we get those follow-up emails, when they’re online.

    Or, this could be the aftermath of some dystopian event.

  2. Gay Degani

    Terrific concept: the abandoned cart, on-line or in real life. Makes me think about all the stuff I’ve forgotten in a cart!

  3. David O'Connor

    A rendezvous has been promised–what a great line! I love the minimalism of this piece, stripped-down, finely-tuned. Made me think of David Foster Wallace’s address, “This is Water” Do you know? Pre-covid, I found shopping carts fascinating.

  4. Tommy Dean

    Love the way you start this on a slant, with the cart being of consciousness rather than the character or the pusher of the cart or if online the person making the decisions. The object is alive because of the verb, pauses!

    Love how this slant consciousness continues, because yes, the clearance items do speak to us! Even if we can’t quite understand them!

    “A rendezvous has been promised, before

    On this same avenue.” oh, I love this line, the way you sum up all the loneliness of shopping, the implied promises that never quite work out! Love how you’ve taken me some place new here, how you’ve shifted the objects, how you’ve created these feelings in me! I’d love to dwell more in this moment, this shift here! The rest of the piece works, but I went from a deeper feeling to a bit of a joke, which maybe needs to come before these deeper feelings? Play around with this schism here and see what prevails! There’s something so unique here!

  5. Constance Malloy

    I really enjoyed this piece. I found myself lost in a memory of when my full cart at Target went missing. A clerk helped me search the entire store for it, but we couldn’t find it. I always wondered who accidently grabbed my cart, and did the buy all the stuff in it? I like the sparseness of this piece. The voice of the clearance item is a real thing! I try to avoid as best I can. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Christina Rosso-Schneider

    There is so much potential and longing going on here between these carts and/or characters. I’m hooked! I want to know more.

  7. Meg Tuite

    OH, the true meshing of cart-love, and then being stood up! This is unique and I hope you keep moving on it. It’s inimitable! LOVE!

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