Five Minute Friday: Need

Gentle Reader,

My left bicep hurts. At least I think it’s my bicep. I could consult Google, but frankly I don’t want to. I’m too tired to open another tab. And I don’t really care what muscle it actually is. It’s sore and there’s a low, annoying headache behind my eyes. But I’m going to do this thing, because if I stop now, I’ll cut off the reestablishment of the writing habit before it’s had time to settle.

Kate says: need.


Got this year’s flu shot today. Hung out in Walgreens for an hour. Impatience nipped at me. Waves of irritation rippled in the air. There was too many people in line and not enough people behind the plexiglass enclosed counter. A man got fussy about his insurance not covering the cost of the shot. A woman complained loudly about not being able to find a particular sort of vitamin pack she wanted.

In my mind, I was yelling at everyone, telling them all to shut up.

On a good, non-pandemic day, I am overwhelmed in a crowd. Now, I have to fight with myself to go anywhere. No place feels safe. Nobody seems safe.

Is the loud complaining going to escalate into yelling and then move into slaps and punches? Does someone have a gun? Of course they do. This is Idaho.

I’m scared.

I’m simply scared.

You may think I’m being melo- or over-dramatic. You can think that. It’s fine. You might not have to work against your brain’s natural wiring each day. I do.

And see, you’d probably not know it to look at me, unless you were paying really close attention. I do my best to hide my anxiety when I’m out in the world, because if I had a sense of everyone around me knowing exactly how I feel, I’d be even more vulnerable. No thank you.

Anyway, all this tension and I just want to get out of there. I don’t want to hear about vitamins. I can’t stand that the man next to me is chewing gum in what I can only describe as an aggressive manner. I’m annoyed by the people being rude to the pharmacy technician. I feel bad for the man who’s trying to figure out how to get his first COVID shot; English isn’t his first language. Everything is too loud and the lighting is too bright and that shopping cart wheel is squeaking a few aisles over.

How am I supposed to love all these people, Lord? They’re so pushy and noisy. I feel small and weak out here in the world. I just want to go home and never leave again. How am I supposed to love them?

That’s why you need Me.