With the hurricane looming closer and closer, but still more than 4 days away, Phillip and I went to Publix to get something simple. We have our stash, we have our jugs of water and canned goods, back up coffee, toilet paper…..But, what we needed was something simple for dinner. We went to our neighborhood Publix at an early time of day and knew we were in trouble. Five to seven cars were waiting just to pull in the parking lot. We finally found a space, we don’t care if it is close or not, and headed for the store. We passed a woman who had squirmed her way into a handicap space. (Sorry, but don’t give me PC correction, not today). A legitimate disabled person was honking at another handicapped person and screaming, “I need to park here!” The other woman (allegedly handicapped) got out of her car and screamed, “I’ve been waiting for a space for an hour, go fuck yourself.” I just looked at Phillip and said, “Damn….all we need is something for tonight.” Yeah, two disable people fighting over a parking space….and both of them walked out their cars to have their argument.

We got into the madness that was the human race. No shopping carts left. No hand carts either. I’m looking at baguettes while people on the other side of the aisle are crashing carts into each other to get Gatorade. No water left. Only the strawberry flavored Perrier. And I drink a lot of Perrier, but even I was questioning, “Man, does it really taste THAT bad????” We went to get beef for stew. And that was all we needed. Already had my veggies at home. We quickly went to the express line, which is no longer express thanks to you bitches with your chip cards. I remember the days when the express lane was cash only…..but, I digress.

As Phillip and I were waiting semi-patiently in line just to buy two simple things, I had time to scan the store, the people, the energy, the behavior. I guess as a moment of comforting reaction, my left hand held my right arm and began to rub, as a sort of self hug, self affirmation, self protection, self defense. I watched old ladies being pushed aside for medicines, people beginning to battle over bags of potato chips, shopping carts full of not what was needed, but for the purpose of hording, forgetting and uncaring of anyone else who may need something, people taking home 20 gallons of water, people paying other people in the store for the water in their carts at double the price. I saw people panicking, falling into mayhem, screwing each other over, dismissing humanity and declaring righteous rule.

And my hand felt wet. I looked down and that comforting motion of moving my hand back and forth had somehow changed. I was covered in blood, had begun to claw myself without knowing it. I looked down to find my hands and arms covered in blood. I shuddered, “Oh, my God…..” There was blood everywhere. I gave Phillip my wallet, and the cashier, whom I have seen for 20 years, even said, “Darling! Papi! You’re bleeding!” I ran to the restroom to wash it off, to clean myself. I grabbed some paper towels to hold the wounds, the deep scratches.  I stared into the bloody running water. I looked into the mirror, my face turning white. And all I could think of, “Is this what we have become? Animals…..”

When I returned the cashier, Carmen, was so concerned. “What happened?”

I didn’t have an answer. I really didn’t. I guess I felt so overwhelmed with watching the human race screw itself into a panicky frenzy that I just got lost somewhere in my own head. Just watching them harm each other, despise each other….I guess my self comfort became something of a “wake up.” I don’t know why it happened. But, I do know that when I was watching the madness happen… didn’t seem to me like anyone else did. They were all in their own worlds….and maybe my own psyche was telling me to wake up. They don’t care about anyone else. They’re buying 20 packages of toilet paper and potato chips. They care nothing about the world, they care nothing about their neighbor….they only know that they’ve been told to get what you can, keep it for yourself, and fuck anyone in your way…..

And Phillip said, “That’s what people are like.”

I replied, “Those are the ones that will fail and suffer first…..”




  1. how sad, pressure brings out the worst and the best in folk. For several years I found I was losing hair in clumps, which turned out to be myself pulling it out! when surround by stress I turned it on my self, thankfully it is many years ago now but I do know how it happens and hope you heal up soon! also the good starts to show as well.

  2. Stay safe, you and Phillip and your kitties. I understand, I’ve seen the insanity. Keeping you, my family members and friends and all Florida in my prayers.

  3. I’m sorry you had to go through this. I have always felt that one should keep enough back that should something like this happen, there are resources to draw on. Lately I haven’t done so well, I only ever have enough dog food for two or three weeks, and no stored water. Perhaps I should get some – someone on another group actually canned water because they had canning jars left over, and they thought it was just for “emergencies”. As it turned out, all that water did come in handy, and they are now dipping into it. I wish you luck, I hope you have beef jerky set back for emergency stews. Potatoes, onions, water, other root vegetables. Stew is so yummy and lasts for three meals per pot. Good luck, stay dry.

  4. You could see the craziness that the others were causing, but they didn’t know how selfish they were acting. I think you reacted from that, instead of screaming – kind of like if we hold our breath or clench our teeth.
    Try to breath through it next time (hopefully there won’t be another) & know that those same nutty shoppers will help each other when the time comes.
    I’m so sorry you went through this. 💜

  5. I would hope that being as caring and compassionate as you espouse that you would refrain from calling someone a bitch for using a chip card. It doesn’t slow the process, at least where I am from. Stay safe.

      1. It is only because they don’t have the card ready but they don’t have their cash out either so you can’t win LOL

  6. I’m glad that I get you and know how much all of this stuff matters to you. We are so fractured and scared we hardly see others fear and frustration, just annoyance. As we pray for your safety there, please pray for Oregon, Washington, California and Montana. We are on fire.

  7. Stay safe. Heal quickly. Sometimes one has to care about others out of one’s love for God because one cannot love them for their actions. It is hard when you are surrounded by chaos. You are in my prayers every day.

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