Yeah, so, I almost had a panic attack at the grocery store.
I was working from home, and I needed to make a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a few things. I went to the Safeway in Potrero Hill, because it has a bank inside and plenty of parking. As I was walking through the aisle carrying my fat-free half and half for me and crackers for The Boy, I heard over the loud speaker, “something something SFPD.”
Wait, what? What about the police?
I got in line to pay, and I could see outside the doors a cop car with its lights turned on. I can hear a man yelling and cops yelling. There was a crowd of people in front.
I started breathing hard. My adrenaline was pumping. In other words, I started freaking out. “What if that man has a gun? I should get the hell out of here right now. Just leave the stuff on the conveyor belt at the register and run.”
The yelling outside continued.
“That man might have a gun. There could be some sort of stand off going on out there. I should run out of here. Something terrible is going to happen. Maybe I should call David and tell him that I love him and Calvin so much. I should just run out of here.”
The clerk started scanning my items, and I must have clearly looked like I was having a panic attack. My hands were shaking as I slid my ATM card and drew a blank on my PIN number for a second.
“I’m sorry about all that,” she said, waving her hand at the police action.
The way she said it made me think that maybe crazy shit happens all the time at this Safeway. I took my groceries, and I practically ran out of the store. As I ran by, I could see the yelling man was on the ground now, and the police officers were handcuffing him. I don’t know what the man did. I didn’t want to know. I wanted to get the hell away from the whole thing, and I couldn’t believe all these people were standing around watching.
So, here’s the thing: Logically, I know my reaction was a little out of whack. I live in San Francisco. Crazy shit happens all the time all over the city. I used to work in the Tenderloin, so I had built up a tolerance for crazy. But things are different now. I’m different now. I’m reminded of this article by my brother-in-law Tony Hicks wrote about a suspicious package in a movie theater.
All the mass shootings that have been going on, and all this gun talk in the news … I read this stuff every day. It is clearly having an affect on me. It clogs up my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I don’t want to admit how many times I have cried about the Newtown shooting. I still can’t talk about it, because I get so angry and sad, and my voice shakes and my eyes water.
I usually feel safe. I mean, I don’t walk around feeling unsafe. But now, after my little panic attack today I realized that I clearly don’t feel that safe. You know what would make me feel safer? Less guns! So, I donated some dough to Moms Demand Action, an organization that is fighting to get some gun control laws in this country.
OK, this post is kind of a bummer. Not a good Friday post at all. Here’s a cute photo of the Spawn, who just hit the 18-month mark yesterday, and Homer.