Part of the Invisible Diaries series
Week 1/Day 5
I went out today!
This was the second time I stepped out onto the streets in the last three weeks. Both times on a trip to the local supermarket.
I had been wondering what to write to you about today, considering a number of possible trails and drawing a series of blanks. Then, partly driven by the necessity to ensure supplies of chocolate eggs and Aperol Spritz for this weekend, I thought a shopping trip might lead to something...
The first time I went out during the lockdown was about a week ago. That was a big deal, a bit unsettling at first but eventually uplifting too. I took a pair of plastic gloves and a shopping bag on wheels we bought for when my parents come to visit and walked down to the supermarket. I joined the queue which wound its way all around the block, ensured sufficient distance from those around me and waited. Not even looking at my phone – just looking at people, their attire, their body language, their respective relations to each other – slightly tentatively, anxiously, at times suspiciously.
When I finally walked into the supermarket, the first thing I instinctively went for was a mango for my son (one of his favourite fruits). As I picked it up, the foil sticker on the mango got stuck to one of my gloves; I tried to unstick it with the other glove and then the other glove got stuck too. Then I started to slowly simmer inside, and, a bit bewildered went to a guy stacking shelves to ask for help... He had all the patience and composure I lacked, gently helped me out, warning me that my gloves would probably get ripped and that I would need to make sure I take the sticker to the check out because of the barcode... Once unstuck, I walked away like some sort of Mr Bean, panicking that I might now have unthinkingly got too close to the guy and that he might have been carrying the virus and that now I was going to bring it home from the shopping too! (When I later related this incident to my husband, he said, "The guy was probably thinking the same! Some crazy woman entangled herself in the fruit labels and then blabbered all over me!")