I bought a frozen pizza at the grocery store tonight.
This alone isn’t all that special. I bought a six pack of eggs, some cheese and flour tortillas. I bought laundry detergent and creamer. And before all this, I bought a bag of senior dog food. A thought flashed through my mind and it hasn’t been a unique one:
This is what sad, lonely women buy at the grocery store.
These groceries proclaim to the world that I have no one to cook for. That my meals are solitary dates; stolen moments from no one. I don’t use a grocery store card to get discounts due to my fear of some employee somewhere noticing the sad, solitary purchases I make. Never enough for two, never elaborate enough for a candlelit dinner.
The trips to the grocery store are unplanned affairs. A quick look in the fridge, a scrawled note of items to buy, and out the door I go, looking for an excuse to be part of the world. This sad, lonely woman living with a pug looking for a human to interact with, even if it’s just a brief glance toward other shoppers or a thin Merry Christmas to the checkout boy.
Pizza’s in the oven as I write this. A glass of tempranillo on my desk. The warmth in my chest will give way to a wistful giddiness in fifteen minutes or so. The Nashville Sound ululating out of my speakers is slightly louder than normal but the melancholy tunes either match or bolster my moroseness. And here I sit in front of this screen, typing out these words, not knowing what I intend to accomplish.
Perhaps writing itself is accomplishment enough. Life is hard and I am tired. Life, at the cusp of forty, isn’t exactly the swan song I had hoped for in my younger years. If this was to be my last hours on this lump of rock, I’d shrug my shoulders and say, Well, that was a waste.
This I know is my fault. This I know is something only I can cure. I can’t seem to get out of my own way though. Some days, it’s a chore just to leave the house. Other days, it’s too much to stay in and the need to escape hangs heavy over my shoulders. Putting words down here…well, I don’t know what that will do. I can’t be alone in feeling these things. Can I?