A Battle Waged by One

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Yesterday I was waiting in line outside Trader Joe’s, standing at the designated red line, six feet away from my fellow shoppers. All donning blue gloves and white face masks. Wondering what strange universe we had landed in.

I’ve been sheltering in place for a couple years now as I go through my own death and rebirth process. Stripping away everything nonessential. Building a new foundation brick by brick. Is this what the planet is going through now? A kind of death and rebirth? A global restructuring?

Back in Trader Joe’s, I’m feeling like a character in Lost in Translation. A few lone shoppers. Slow moving carts. Dazed expressions. We work our way through the aisles picking out nuts and fruit. Meat and cheese. Friendly employees restocking empty shelves while dutifully maintaining the required six feet.

At checkout. More red lines. More six feet distancing as kind checkers bag my items and send me back out into the world to envision a new future. I start by handing my groceries to a tired homeless woman. She smiles gratefully. I get back in line to do it all again.

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