In aisle seven a woman is making a scene.
The woman is shrieking.
Heads are turning and people are starting to stare from the corners of their beady eyes.
Shoppers with their trolleys are making U-turns to avoid the spectacle.
There is a collective embarrassment. We are not trained to deal with this. We're British.
The woman seems unaware of us, she is waving her arms about and small pockets of white foam have collected at the corners of her angry mouth.
I am ashamed. Just standing there watching. I'm not the only one, everyone else is staring but they try to disguise it. We cannot help but stare. I want to wrench my eyes off her but I can't.
The woman is pulling tins of soup off the shelf now and they clatter to the floor. Her breath is ragged as she reaches for more tins and slams them down with a flourish.
Two security guards are approaching from the frozen foods section. They look slightly nervous and one of them is muttering into his walkie-talkie.
The woman stops suddenly as though noticing us for the first time. She is all breathless and startled. Everyone is watching for her next move.
Like a sad balloon, the woman deflates. Right there in aisle seven. She lets out this long low moan and crumples amongst the dented tins.
She's sobbing, just sobbing. I don't think I've ever heard a more haunting sound.
Then something happens.
I'm putting my basket down next to the lemon curd and jam and peanut butter. I'm walking to towards her.
Something in the atmosphere changes. All attention shifts to me. Like a cliche, time slows down. I can feel all this electicity inside me.
Getting down on my knees I circle my arms around her. I don't know how to coo or shush or soothe, I just hold on. She begins to hold on too. For a moment we share a sinking ship and just hold on for life. There is absolute silence. I wonder if the woman can feel the electricity too. My fingers rest against the knotwork of her spine. She is so thin I think she could slit my throat with her collar bone.
My eyes are closed but I see men in white coats coming for the pair of us.
Now, I do not, as a general rule, converse with people at bus stops. Nor do I chat to taxi drivers or make small talk with cashiers at tills. I do not entertain cold callers or travelling sales men. I do not hold doors open for people, wear a watch, carry a lighter or buy The Big Issue. I keep my head down; I do not smile at strangers and I definitely do not remark at the weather.
But here I am holding this woman on a Tuesday morning in aisle seven.
I get up slowly. My shoulder is wet. She catches my eyes, hers are all wide and deep and black. There is kohl all down her cheeks. I step back gingerly and tip my head down slightly, she sees and returns the gesture.
I didn't have any words I could have said to her. That woman didn't need words. Our head tipping was small, foolish, clumsy, childish...inept.
It was the most heart-felt thing I have said to anybody for at least three years.
I stalked back to my basket. Hunching my shoulders up to protect myself from all those silly English eyeballs. As the electricity faded, I turned to see the security guards help her up. Steering her by the elbow, they led her away. She made no protest and she didn't look back.
I scurried off to hide by the bread rolls before making my exit.
That was it. The most brave thing of all my days. That woman is here with me now. Wherever they put her, wherever she ended up, she is also here. I try to make up names for her but none of them seem to fit. I think of things I could tell her, little things from the day. Like when the cat tried to eat a bee and got himself stung, or the other day when I found a Canadian dollar and a plastic dolls head on the same park bench. I think she'd like my stories. I like to think she would.
Sometimes I think it must have been a dream. The woman, the electricity and our holding each other; these images are not like reality to me. There is no context or framework in my mind for them to slot into.
I don't do friends or family so I've no-one's opinion to ask.
When I visit aisle seven I usually pick up a tin of soup, often there's a dented tin and for her, I always take that one.