Harrowing Hours

by Tom Swift

It takes so long — and yet the time goes by in a flash. First, you have to put on your protective gear — head to toe, with face mask in place. (In my case, the mask is a scarf. It is plaid.) You have to make sure you have made your game-plan, and that you have your checklist at the ready. Once you arrive, even before you enter, you can feel your blood pressure rise. Then, after you begin, there is so much pressure to keep moving, keep pushing. You need to do a metaphorical high-wire act: stay away from others, yet not linger in any one place, and at the same time not go by so quickly that you miss something. It is, simply put, the most stressful thing in my life right now.

By that I mean, yes, this morning I went to the grocery store.