After finally managing to be more functional I went to the supermarket late at night. I’m always wary going to this one at this time since they have a policy of closing the manned checkouts and leaving only the self-checkouts open, with one person supervising them.
A bunch of people turn up to the supermarket late to do weekly food shopping whilst it’s quiet, but then have to scan it all painstakingly through the self-checkouts. The result is that usually between 10-11pm there’s a queue at the self-checkouts.
As it happened, when I arrived the queue was empty. My mood was quickly dampened however by remembering that I’d run out of sertraline medication earlier today, and even though this supermarket contains my designated pharmacy where my prescriptions are sent to (and I’d already requested the new medication a few days ago), I was just 20 mins too late. This is a very classic example of how periods of depression and demotivation often come back to bite you in unexpected ways, even despite your best intentions to overcome them. These setbacks threaten to derail the momentum you are just regaining.
Anyway I finished shopping, headed to the self-checkouts and…no queue. However in the remaining 10 metres before I reached it, a few shoppers ambled into position in the queue. Suddenly it was 4 people long. No big deal, but…all of the self-checkouts were filled with people with trollies full of stuff. One of the people was moving impossibly slowly. Which was no criticism of the person (it was), just an observation which made me wince for the unfortunateness of it, an almost comedic scenario. I noticed that 2 out of 6 self-checkouts were actually closed.
The slow person finished scanning and re-packing their trolley, and seemed to be good to go but did one last, painstaking check of the surfaces to make sure nothing was left behind. They almost seemed to be in a trance, unaware of the desperate urgency of those around.
The person ahead of me had only a few things which made us hopeful. But whilst paying with cash she dropped a coin on the floor, which rolled off into oblivion with her chasing after it…😂.
Finally she finished paying and her checkout became free, but then…the screen displayed the ‘closed’ sign. The supervisor came over and I asked if it was randomly turning itself off. She replied that it’s run out of paper and went off to get some. Whilst she was doing this and re-filling the machine with the paper, the two people at the checkouts behind her were held up waiting for her approval for age-related items…😆. Then the third needed approval too. Oh man. Everything had ground to a halt as the queue was growing, bottlenecked up behind the supervisor replacing the paper roll. And everybody there had already spent 20 minutes in the queue after an unusual confluence of events. I commented to her wryly that everything was going wrong at once. It was like slapstick. It was a 1000-piece jigsaw scene.
After all of that my thoughts returned to my lack of medication…and the concern about impending depression due to lack of it, and how I was going to manage that PLUS the fact that tomorrow morning at 9.30AM I’m joining a one-off group call with my friend’s therapy team for a family and friends informational thing, which she’d previously invited me to as a way to support her. I mean, what an honour, and my attending it is in no doubt. But it had to be today of all days that I run out of medication…and I need to return to the supermarket at 6:30AM to get it.
Once I finally made it back to my scooter there was a guy there kneeling down next to it, inspecting the lock. Wow I’d always kind of hoped for this situation where I could interrupt someone trying to stealing it (or a bike when I was cycling), out of curiosity to see what their reaction would be when I asked them why they were trying to steal it. I’m not talking about aggressive confrontation, since I know my presence alone will (probably) scare them off. But of all the possible things I could say, I might as well try to raise a philosophical question. Would they show guilt?
I was just done with everything though, and not even surprised. I simply asked in a resigned tone and with a wry smirk “What are you doing?”, “You alright!?” as I strode over normally, even though there could be no other explanation. Leave the question rhetorical. He got up and slowly walked off with his bike, without saying anything. As I scooted away I glanced over at him and saw him looking sheepishly back. I hoped that maybe he’d reconsider a life of crime…
I’m still awake and have the medication now, and looking back…perhaps I missed an opportunity to be the guy in the suit inviting down-and-outs into squid games…😂. But I don’t have that kind of charm.