This weekend I almost fell asleep.
I was at the grocery store and I thought — I remember this. Moving my cart slowly through the aisle, more slowly than most people, being that lady no one wants to be stuck behind. Staring at the tomatoes; how can I possibly pick one? There are too many choices. It becomes hard to hear. Every sound seems to come from a long distance away, or through a thick layer of fleece. I’m staring out the window at a blizzard and I know it’s a tragedy, but I’m wrapped in a thick fleece blanket and it can’t touch me.
Numb. And the blanket is so soft against my cheek. I could just lie down and sleep; then nothing could touch me.
I remember this.
Shopping becomes an impossibly long series of steps, and the trip can break down at any time when without warning one of the steps is simplytoo much.
Drive to the store. Lock the car. Walk inside. Choose a cart. Remember where the spinach is. Check every item off the list. Choose a brand. Choose a fruit. This takes much too long; I wander around the store and can’t remember what I’m looking for or which step is next. Have I put any ice cream in the cart? I can’t remember. Is it melting? How would I know? Choose a checkout lane. Put the food I have no intention of eating onto the conveyor belt. Put the bags back in the cart. Wheel the cart to my car. Open the hatchback. This is where it stops. It is too much.
Staring at my empty car, knowing that I can’t possibly lift those bags out of the cart, it is too much to ask in this storm, knowing that that fleece blanket is an invitation to stay out of the blizzard. An open door to stop feeling. To sink down and walk slowly and sleep too much and stop eating and not hear what anyone says to me. I remember this place; I feathered this nest for months and months. I could go back.
It was intoxicating. I stood there a long time, crying outside my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot, thinking how nice that numb fleece blanket feels.
But I didn’t go back. I loaded up the damned car and I drove back home and made myself some damned lunch and that evening I played a damned concert and after the weekend was over I went back to my damned job, where after 77 damned hours of data entry I will have earned enough money for another damned IUI.