It’s damn cold out. I know cuz I was just out there. I went grocery shopping. I didn’t take the shortcut to the grocery store. I went the long route both ways. Luckily, I changed into my boots beforehand. It was a good idea to check weather dot com before heading out. There was a “strong wind warning” and a statement about potential resulting power outages. I guess I’m lucky I didn’t get clobbered by a tree while out walking, or clobbered by anything else. You never know what you might run into when it’s only ten days before your 54th birthday.
It’s been the Year of Hell. I could write a book about this year. Maybe I shouldn’t say that, cuz it’s not over yet. Anything can happen in the next ten days. I wouldn’t wish this year on anyone. I keep on thinking of exceptions to this, people, really, really bad people that I might actually want to experience what I’ve been through at age 53. My mother? Nope. Too old. It would be pointless to put her through this torture. She would not understand the meaning of it and would not feel the depth, or feel the turn of the knife. It’s hard to explain to a stranger what I mean. (Please don’t call me a sinner for saying what I’ve just said. You don’t know me and you don’t know her and you didn’t grow up in my shoes.)
It was kind of weird Skyping with my T. She wanted to know stuff, and I didn’t know where to begin, so I began with the Cable Guy. It was hard to tell the story. She “got it” right away. Then, right then and there, it was simply unnecessary to tell her anything else.
I know what I have to do. I am an adult. I am ten days shy of 54. On my 54th birthday, I do not need to be in a dining room full of fourteen-year-olds playing “Twenty Questions” while eating a “therapeutic meal,” carefully watched over by two well-trained staff counselors. I have no desire to spend my 54th birthday with a tube in my nose. I have ten more days of 53, and during none of these days do I plan to be in any nuthouse, or in an ambulance, or escorted anywhere by police.
I used my food stamps card for the food items, but for the coffee filters (which were on sale) I handed the cashier a ten dollar bill. She rang up a one hundred dollar bill. The cash register, and my sales slip, reads $98.14 change. She handed me $8.14, apologizing for the error. I’m just trying to sort this out. She’s going to get into a bit of trouble I think. I have never seen her before. Maybe I will never see her again.
The people after me were in a hurry. They scooted past me while I was filling my knapsack with my groceries. They looked at me like I was crazy. They were a mother and daughter. The cashier noticed that they had forgotten their half-gallon jug of apple juice. She called after them. “Ma’am!” she called. They heard her and came running back. The daughter grabbed the apple juice and flew back to her mother. They disappeared out of the store.
I took my time. I wasn’t carrying much. I adjusted my MP3 player and changed the music. It was going to be a cold, cold walk home. I was glad to be wearing boots, and that I had checked weather dot com before leaving home.