Vibe Shopping

After much procrastination I ran out of excuses . And food. Mostly food. I had to make my way out into the wild to secure provisions for the imminent future. By wild, of course I mean the stores.

I hate shopping in “normal” times. I hate being in any sort of crowd. In crowds I tend to soak up the energies of people around me, which in a lot of cases used to mean I would be in whatever mood was prevalent in the crowd. It was something I didn’t realize until a few years back.

Now I’ve done a lot of work on this, learning to ground myself and use my own energy as both a shield to protect myself (which often works) and as a means to change the energy of those around me (with mixed results, as one could expect.

So that’s my background, as a bit of an explanation why I’m about to tell today’s story in the way I’m going to need to. I talk about my empathic stuff in terms of explanation with no expectations of anyone else tapping into the same. I’m a writer, storyteller, creator of content, and a support space. I am not a guru, spiritual teacher, healer, any of that jazz. My knowledge is in terms of being able to navigate my own way through things and is VERY limited.

Anyway…off shopping I went.

First stop, Target.

One of the perks of going in the morning (after senior citizen hours of course) was the sighting of toilet paper. Yeah, it was the cheapo stuff and it was limited to ine per customer but still…WHITE GOLD! I jumped on that like it was a loose football after a fumble.

I did notice that there was a mom with her kids shopping and they were playing Christmas music on one of their phones. I admit I smiled at that.

I may have scored TP but the rest of the store was pretty picked over and I realized that most food wasn’t happening. So there was going to need to be a second stop. Par for the course lately.

Headed for the register I did see a group of 4 people conversing near the front of the store. Good news, they all stayed six feet away from each other. Bad news, that meant there was no way around them to get to the register. Points for the attempt though.

Oddly enough, the rest of the store was empty. So I just made my way around and got some steps in.

Checking out was a very different experience. I don’t say this with judgement; this is how it has to be right now.

I approached the register and I had to stand on a red X just beyond the conveyor belt until it was wiped down and I was given the okay to place my items on it. After doing so I had to stay on the far end of the belt until everything was rung up. Once the cashier finished I could go and use the card reader and pinpad. While Inwas doing that he walked away. Then when the receipt printed out he put it in one of the bags.

It was necessary, but still surreal. We all have to essentially treat each other like we are lepers while this shit is still a thing. It’s blunt and possibly offensive but it’s also true. But it’s better than the alternative of potentially killing someone unknowingly. Again, extreme but also…you just don’t fucking know right now.

So being a little bit rattled by that interaction, I gathered myself, hit the Purell a couple of times, and off I went to Stop & Shop.

On a side note, it’s impossible for me to go to Stop & Shop without The Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner” in my head on repeat.

So I was able to get the rest of my list without much trouble (no TP though) but I found that my defenses were way up inside here. Outwardly people seemed fine but there was just a vibe throughout.

It may have had to do with there just being more people and less room. People were generally respectful as far as waiting for others to move along in a manner which allowed for everyone to keep a safe space. Even as the meat department was hustling to restock, every few minutes the stockers cleared out for a bit to allow customers to get what they need.

One instance really made me feel bad. I was looking at the eggs, deciding if it was worth it to buy a dozen (I’m good for thinking I want them at the store, buying them, then never eating them-eggs are a weird thing for me). I noticed an elderly gentleman wearing a US Navy cap lurking beyond me like he needed to get to where I was. I backed myself away and said to him “Sir, go ahead and take your time. I can wait.” He walked up nervously, looked at the eggs, looked back at me, said “this is bad”, and then moved on like he was too afraid to stay around. That sucked, it made me wonder why- whether it was simply the situation or if he’d had a bad experience.

Wasn’t mine, but I still felt horrible.

There was just that heavy energy throughout. Granted part of it was my own overthinking. Wipe cart, wipe hands, keep space, oh yeah-buy food. This inner spinning brought me to the point where I was unaware that I was outwardly talking to myself at one point. That probably encouraged people to stay the hell away from me. Okay.

Of course with all of that mind spinning I wasn’t able to pay much attention to trying to stay grounded and keeping my energy in check. No wonder I felt like a hot mess.

I checked out, this one was a little more normal. Stop & Shop had the plexiglass barrier protecting the cashier, so the measures did not need to be so extreme. She was still a bit curt with her interaction. To be fair, I would be too if I had to deal with humanity’s fear-driven bullshit for hours a day everyday with the possibility of it killing me.

I was still high strung when I got back to the bunker. The dog was bouncing around nervously as I was talking to my niece. I mentioned that he was probably bouncing off of my energy because of the whole experience. Her response: “Actually, I can feel it off of you too.”

Noted…time to ground, and let this shit out. It’s not serving much.



Writer. Guide. Mentor. Visionary. Voice. Presence. Geeks out over MCU, Star Wars, baseball, and randomness. Question everything except your worth.

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Rich Levesque

Writer. Guide. Mentor. Visionary. Voice. Presence. Geeks out over MCU, Star Wars, baseball, and randomness. Question everything except your worth.