I don’t know how I get roped into these things. . . This somewhat nuerotic friend of mine who camps on the other side of the hill from me is SUPER paranoid about the coronavirus. He’s afraid to even go into a store to buy food. So he asked me to do it for him. At first I agreed. But then I changed my mind. I mean, I can’t be responsible for feeding another person every day from now until this crisis finally ends. It’s hard enough just to feed my goddamn cats.
But this morning he comes down to my campsite and asks me again. He’s desperate. I get the feeling he’d starve to death before he’d be able to muster the courage to walk into a grocery store. So I agree to meet him at Trader Joe’s (his store of choice) at 10. So I quickly pack up my campsite, dump out some food for my cats, and trudge on down there.
When I get down to Trader Joe’s I’m in for a nasty surprise. They’re only letting people into the store one at a time, and the line stretches all the way down the block. If there’s one thing I truly hate it’s WAITING ON LINES!!
After a half hour I finally get in the store. They wash your hands with sanitary soap before they allow you to enter. He’s given me this list of all the food he wants, and needless to say he’s super particular. Plus, I’ve never been in Trader Joe’s before so I don’t have any idea where anything is and I’m having a nervous breakdown trying to find the items.. Plus some of the items aren’t clearly labeled on his list — like “low sodium bread” which I thought was the brand name but is just a particular bread that has a low percentage of sodium. On top of that, half the shoppers are wearing masks and look terrified if you get too close to them. So you got to dodge them like you’re running an obstacle course. The whole scene is just surreal. I haven’t even had my morning coffee yet, I’m still hungover and about to go berzerk at the slightest inconvenience. So it takes me nearly 40 minutes to track everything down.
On the bright side, Trader Joe’s had a good deal on roast beef so I grabbed a package for myself, so it wasn’t a total loss. . . But it made me wonder if more people were going to end up driven nuts by the complications and disruptions from this disease, as from the disease itself. Where a simple thing like shopping for food has now been turned into a bizarre ritual.