Grocery shopping on Xanax.
It’s not like shopping hungry. There was no inner debate about the merits for including snacks and items I hadn’t intended to buy. (Actually, I didn’t even pull the list out of my pocket.)
Nor is it like shopping on acid. Putting units of color in-to and out-of my gliding basket based on loosely categorized and undulating criteria while I’m navigating aisle upon aisle of that crazy gallery of geometry and freak show of social commentary the sign said was a grocery store.
Nope, it was quietly and oddly personal in an unexpected way.
Previously, a friend did a very nice thing for me. Because he perceived that I might be feeling a little down about something, he brought me a piece of cheesecake in one of those plastic, takeaway clam shells. He was right and my heart was warmed by his kind gesture.
Fast forward to Xanax Day at the market. I was stopped short in front of the prepared food section of the deli cooler by a shining piece of Key Lime pie nestled in a plastic, takeaway clam shell. It promised to recreate the exact kindness and friend-love I had experienced with the cheesecake. Yes, I knew better, but that dessert went into my basket.
My entire shopping experience that evening was spent sorting through triggered memories and doing my best to keep the resulting feelings from determining, at least the more important, purchases. As with a toddler, the promise of that pie helped me keep focus but by the time I got to the register I’d bought more than I could comfortably carry on my two-transfer bus ride home.
Oh, and that poor slice of Key Lime pie. Little effort could be made to carry it securely, so it suffered the journey as other packaged items did. It had traveled upside down at one point, and then sideways.
Thankfully, when I got home, putting groceries away was not as interesting as buying them. I enjoyed a small dinner while checking email and settled in to finish an art project, dessert at my side.
Even schmeared in its little clam shell, that piece of pie still carried a blissful hint of friendship.