After 9-11, every plane in the sky became a potential weapon to me.
“Is that plane supposed to be so close to the Empire State building? Is that normal elevation for a plane landing at La Guardia? Holy hell, is a terrorist crashing a jet onto I-78 or is a pilot just heading towards Newark Airport? These were the thoughts in my head most days.
Eventually planes became planes again.
Then I moved to Frederick, MD right before the DC Sniper began stalking the area. Suddenly white vans became potential weapons. Forcing your daughters to run in a zig zag formation upon exciting a grocery store while screaming at them for stopping to stare at a butterfly will not earn you a mother-of-the-year award.
Eventually white vans became white vans again.
Now that COVID-19 is here, people are becoming potential weapons.
Am I too close to the lady in the produce aisle? Oh thank God the stocker handing me a package of provolone cheese is wearing gloves! Shit. I’m down to one ripped tissue jammed into the waistband of my yoga pants. Will I look like a serial killer if I wipe my nose w/ my sleeve?
Although I was feeling cocky and superhuman this morning after leaving Wegman’s unscathed, a sweet, older man had the audacity to ask me for directions at the gas station! This lead to more mind racing.
Should I approach the elderly man in his car? Because of his thick accent, I’m afraid he won’t understand that the 70 North he’s asking directions for is actually 70 West? And even though the exit is less than a mile from here, will he get that he has to jump onto 15 South which turns into 270 South before he’ll even see the sign for 70 West to Hagerstown?
So I did the responsible, human being thing by writing it all down and then walking it over to his car.
Oh shit, I touched his car while his window was down! Not partially down. All the way down! Did I risk my life? Did my fingers brush against his when I handed him the directions? I don’t think so? Or am I just imagining that? I suffer from a chronic condition and he’s definitely elderly. Holy hell! Two high risk groups only 2 feet apart from one another? Jesus, did I just kill someone’s grandpa?
Once I got home, shut the garage door and brought the groceries along with myself safely inside, I broke down in tears.
I can’t wait until people go back to being people again.
Featured image by WATARI