A Sort of Funny Story..

Sitting here bored, I thought of the funniest story.

I’ve been wanting to write about it but haven’t had the time.

Those that know me well understand that I was diagnosed with PTSD twenty years ago, and I’ve worked hard to manage it through the years and have been successful.

With PTSD, symptoms can return full force at any time.

A loud noise, someone following too close, even a slow elevator can send me down a dark hole, and it can be difficult to climb out.

Late August driving home from my granddaughter’s softball game on a winding back road two cars were stopped in the middle of the road. In slow motion I saw one driver shoot the other. The injured man ran towards my car and I got out and ran towards him.

Back in October I was driving home from meeting with my writing group. At an intersection close to my house a gun battle broke out and I was caught right in the middle of the firing.

That wasn’t the funny part.

It was the terrified part, but terrified doesn’t even come close.

Understandably I don’t like crowds. I didn’t like crowds before PTSD. You will not find me in the grocery store before a snowstorm, My Christmas shopping is all done online, and you certainly will never see me out on New Year’s Eve.

Feeling emboldened after a couple of months of intense trauma therapy, I decided to go to the grocery store, on New Year’s Eve.

It was early afternoon. The parking lot was full, but I had this, no problem.
Lines to check out were long but they were moving.

Not actually needing anything, I slowly walked up and down each aisle. My cart was filling up with snack type stuff. We’d be staying home so why not?

Walking by the café with no intention of stopping I saw a sign that said two pizzas for $10. The pizzas at this store are large and so good. Why not, I thought. Thinking I’d have to pay a few extra dollars I ordered two with pepperoni and waited. A man with a cart full of lobster tails rolled up next to me. He was waiting for more. For most people this wouldn’t be a problem, but I am deathly allergic to shellfish and it didn’t take long for it to affect me. I backed as far away from him as I could which wasn’t easy because the crowd was growing quickly.

This was also where you paid for alcohol and it was New Year’s Eve.

People started brushing up against me and I told myself two more minutes and I was leaving without the pizzas.

Popping that sounded like gunfire, too close to me rang out and I was being pelted with something that hurt and I was being sprayed with something wet. In my mind it was bullets and blood. People were screaming and running. I couldn’t move.

The reality was an elderly woman was driving one of those handicapped ride-on carts and she crashed into a floor to ceiling display of sparkling juice. She continued plowing through and crushing more and more bottles as she went, the whole time wearing a smile like nothing at all happened.

Everyone was standing around, looking at each other and saying nothing.

A puddle of juice and broken glass surrounded me, I was scared to move.

They called my name, so I gripped my cart and forced my way to the counter, put my pies in the cart and went to the back of the long line to wait to pay. This was the alcohol line after all.

Fifteen minutes later it was my turn. “That will be $23.00” the cashier said. “The pizzas are on sale,” I answered. “But you got pepperoni.” “So; charge me for the pepperoni.” “It doesn’t work that way.” “I WANT A MANAGER!” I demand as I’m witnessing all the available managers staring at the mess on the floor, wondering how to go about cleaning it up.

The head cashier comes over and shakes her head. “It’s only the cheese pies,” She says still shaking her head.

I shook my head in disbelief and walked out leaving my entire cart full of snacks and the pizzas.

You just can’t make this stuff up.


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2 Responses to “A Sort of Funny Story..”

  • I’m still in shock about the gunfights, let alone the horrible experience at the grocery store. I’m sure you’re not venturing out right now, are you?

    • That gunfight rocked my world for sure. I have NO idea how I lived through it.
      We are under mandatory stay at home orders here in Pa. We’re only aloud out to get supplies or to help others in need and must be in by 8PM curfew.
      I’ve only been out for walks and one short drive since March 10.
      I hope your family is hanging in there and staying healthy.

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