I stand in the express lane of the checkout line, 16 items peering out over the edge of my basket, the stalks of all the vegetables standing erect, pushing out their chests, warding off the snotty glances of the other customers and their sad, desolate carts. Children hold single lollipops, stressed mothers cradle gallons of milk and hard-to-carry toiletries, fathers show their impatience by talking loudly on phones, mashing their fingers on the self-checkout screens.
I take my time, delicately placing each item onto the conveyor, unfolding my scroll of expired coupons and making small talk with the cashier. No, I don’t have a rewards card, but yes, I would like to fill out a form to sign up for one. Right here at this moment, if you please. No, it’s OK, I’ll wait for the manager.
The patrons behind me slam down their salsas, Enquirers and packs of gum, crane their necks in search of openings in neighboring lanes, praying for the numbered light of another cashier to illuminate...
To read the full piece, buy a copy of issue #1 - available in the shop now.
It’s a place that defines our everyday lives; we know it as well as we know our homes; we visit it more often than we visit our families. And yet, we pay it no attention. To most of us, each one is the same – they’re hard to distinguish. But what happens when we look a little closer?
In issue #1, we want to hear tales from the checkouts, from the ‘Supermarket Sweep’ obsessed, from those with secret fantasies about trashing the pop-art-esque displays.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to pitch your ideas.
When I started this project just over 6 months ago, I thought 'Root' was the perfect name for a literary journal. I wanted to explore everyday places, the places our everyday lives are rooted. It was abstract, but not too abstract.
A few months later, days before I was due to pitch 'Root Journal' to an advisor, I cheerfully shared the concept with my 60 y/o father over Sunday lunch.
I explained, '...it's about everyday places and how our lives and memories are rooted within them.'
'Oh, right,' he responded.
After a few minutes of silence he paused, glancing down at his bowl of trifle and letting his spoon sink into the custard. 'Did you know that 'Root' also means 'fuck' in Australian slang?'
No, dad. I did not.
'Like, to make love...' he continued.
And that was that. I found a new name, Pop To... Magazine, which (for the record) has been rigorously googled and researched on UrbanDictionary - all clear!
I hope you like it. Let's never speak of 'Root' again, ok?