Arrival

I treated myself to a trip to Whole Foods today after my first PT session. I’ve been careful over the months of this pandemic to limit my excursions, but since I was so near the big, fancy Whole Foods, less than a half-mile away, I thought, why not?

The robotic Google voice led me there, I pulled into the entrance a long swathe of blaring white pavement. I pulled into a space careful not to hit the white concrete wall before me. I peered into the visor mirror as I fastened my mask carefully, then stepped into the white expanse, the sun bouncing, the air dry with heat. I passed three women laughing, chatting near a car with the door open as if they were long lost friends who happened upon each other as they were leaving.

As I neared the entry a woman offered me the basket she had just finished with, I took it graciously, then thought, what if there are corona cooties? I made a mental note to sanitize my hands in the store. I felt uneasy then was distracted by the colorful display of fresh produce before me. I took my time, the store was not crowded and the aisles were wide, my body relaxed as I strolled along appreciating the abundance. How fortunate we are to have all of this at the ready, so convenient, we’re so spoiled. I felt grateful and joyful.

I tried to recall when I’d been there last? Christmas maybe? I love looking at all of the varieties of everything. I especially love the many vegan choices and pick something new to try each time. It’s so wonderful when I’m not on a time crunch like today and I get to meander and muse.

My favorite section is the bakery, I save it for last. I haven’t been into sweets these past months, except for fruits and it seems that abstinence has reduced my cravings. I did marvel and drool over the sweet delicacies in the glass cases, so impeccably decorated and so enticing. The Tres Leches cake had yummy looking white topping with huge glazed strawberries on top, but it was a big cake and nonvegan, my eyes ate it up though, vicarious living, lol.

There were many employees doing the shopping for pick up/delivery orders, they were frenzied like they had a deadline or were being timed. I felt the frazzled rushing waves of energy emanating from them contrasting with the other chill workers who were leisurely chatting while stocking. Other customers were polite and waited patiently, keeping space while perusing the same items. The atmosphere much more peaceful and civilized than shopping at my usual haunt.

I scored some yummy things that I don’t normally buy like cultured vegan pepper jack cheese and vegan croissants. I got Drue a couple of slices of the fresh store made cheese pizza. The plan is to get us pizza after my next PT appointment in 2 weeks. I’ll get a vegan one, it’s been ages since I’ve had one, yum!

I dutifully stayed on the marked spaces in the checkout and paid from behind the plexiglass. There were 2 items left that wouldn’t fit in the 2 bags he had loaded and he asked if I wanted them in a bag too. I apologetically said yes because I have to carry them upstairs. I don’t like using too many bags, but I quickly let it go. I can recycle it, it’s okay I reassured myself.

I left the cart at the kiosk and carried the bags to the car, the handles digging in, stopping the blood so my hands tingled. I made it to the car, my eyes squinting, there were people sitting in their cars as I walked by with their windows down, waiting? As I placed the bags in I felt warm and secure with a sense of accomplishment. It felt more normal today, I was getting used to this new reality. I felt for the first time that everything was going to be okay, that we could ride this out, do what we had to and make it out on the other side.

As I drove home I absorbed all of the varying landscapes thinking, I’ve missed this and appreciated my surroundings all the more. I live here, look at how wonderful, how beautiful, how did I get so lucky?

I was excited to realize that I have a lot of life left to live and many more adventures ahead, more days to splurge on at Whole Foods. I was eager to do my PT exercises, that I was finally getting the help I’ve needed after 5 trying years. So thankful that there are practitioners who know what they’re doing here and that I now have the time and money to invest in treatment and can risk getting worse before I get better. Often times initially the treatment exacerbates the symptoms until you get used to it, and then there’s gradual improvement.

It’s been a long road getting here, but I’ve finally arrived.

Michelle Miyagi
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