Masked Man at the Market and More

This morning began with a few sips of coffee and a quick view of online news before I jumped in the car and headed to the grocery store for the “senior hour.” But I got my wires crossed. I thought the “senior hour” began at 7. Nope. It began at 6. By the time I got there, the place was flooded with geezers—my brothers and sisters in arms—filling their baskets with indulgencies and necessities. The store’s aisles are now marked for one-way traffic. I did not notice the signs on the floor, but was grateful to a little old lady for pointing them out to me. People riding in carts (and there were several of them) did not seem to see the floor markings, either. Nor did it make a difference to them when the markings were called to their attention. Oh, well.

Still no yeast; all the stores seem to be out. I was able to score tonic water, which has been in short supply. But there was no ground pork. One or two other items on my list were nowhere to be found, but I feel confident we will not starve in the near-term.

Most of the people in the store, employees and customers alike, wore masks this morning. There were a few notable exceptions. One guy was clearly suffering from testosterone poisoning as he defiantly thrust his lower jaw forward while examining the soft drink options (or do they call them “pop” here?). I suspect the guy already had bleach and an ultraviolet light in his cart.  Another guy—a tall, ball-headed brute wearing a t-shirt that exposed his six-pack abs and who had a large metal cross dangling from a leather band around his neck—seemed to think God would protect him. I assume the cross was the instrument of the Lord, smiting the virus with its unseen holy disinfectants and other-worldly UV glow.

If stores want customers to flow smoothly through the store without getting closer than six feet to one another, some things need to change.  For one, the stores should insist that shoppers create their shopping lists online. When the list is complete, the shopper should be able to hit “print” and the list would print in exactly the order the shopper should move through the store. A map with items on the list should also print. The map would show the starting point and the direction of flow through the store. Brilliant idea! I should copyright it or trademark it or otherwise protect it as intellectual property worth literally millions of dollars. I’ll let it go at a discounted price, though. The first $900,000 gets it.

My mask is courtesy of a woman at our church, who is making and giving away masks. Another woman is picking them up from her and taking them to other members of the congregation who request them. People helping people; it’s nice. I have seen others selling masks for $5 and up apiece. Those sellers may well be out of work and trying to stay solvent. I’m tempted to buy some of them. Masks will, I think, become fashion statements. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Wearing my mask emphasizes for me my need to get a cloak or a cape. I have a top-hat I could wear with either one; in fact, I’m wearing the top-hat in one of the photos above. I wonder what sort of reaction I might get if I wore my mask, my top-hat, and a cape or cloak into the grocery store? Probably no more than an occasional sideways glance.


Not to change the subject, but yesterday when I went in for a dual CT scans, the technician who did the scans first took blood. A lot of blood. Not all of it went into the vial, either. A significant amount spilled all over my arm and dripped onto my pants leg. He apologized profusely and soaked up most of the blood from my pants leg, using a saline-soaked bandage. He claimed salt water is the best thing to use to get blood out of fabrics. “An old sailor told me that trick. He said when they got blood on their clothes on the ship, they just dragged the piece of clothing in the salt water and it took out the blood.” An old sailor, huh? The majority of the blood came out, but there’s still a blood stain on the clothes. Fortunately, I was wearing a pair of long-legged gym pants (they said to wear something loose, comfortable, and with no metal buttons, rivets, etc.). I can live with a blood stain.

But I wonder when I’ll get the results of both CT scans? I see the oncologist on Thursday. She should have the results of the chest CT scan. But I have no appointment with the nurse who ordered the abdomen/pelvis scan. No worries. I’ll get the results when I get them.


I had an odd, very sensual dream last night. A woman friend was sitting very close to me, breathing in my ear. She said to me, over and over again, “Just listen to the sound of my breath. It will sooth your anxiety so, so completely.” She repeated those sentences several times. My ear was hot from her breath. I suddenly realized, with surprise, that my hand was clutching the front of her thigh, right above her knee. I was alarmed that she might think I was being overly familiar, but then she said, “There you go.” That’s it. That’s all I remember. I haven’t had such a vivid dream in months. For a while, I was dreaming every night; extremely long, complex, bizarre dreams. But then they seemed to stop. Then, last night’s dream; oddly disturbing and exciting at once.


I’m back on track to write an article for the church. I’ve got to get it done and have it behind me. I put it on hold for too long. I’m starting over, with a new approach. Let it be the right one, the one that will enable me to zip through it.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Masked Man at the Market and More

  1. I’m impressed, Colleen! I would need to learn the store layout much better in order to do that! Maybe I should go shopping with you!

  2. Colleen Boardman says:

    I’m anal. I already write my grocery list in order of the aisles! lol

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.