I am glad I went…..and I am very glad I am home! Sometime between 7:30 and 8 PM I got so antsy that I was ready to explode. I felt awful, but I needed to get the heck out of the apartment. I was feeling deprived of fresh fruits and vegetables. It was also nice, cool and breezy. I was going to take TRAX to Trader Joe’s, but I missed the train by a few minutes. I wheeled it to Smith’s, instead. Got a couple of packages of bacon on sale for $1.99 each, some cherries and a bag of brown sugar, etc. Went next door to Trader Joe’s for chicken chili burgers, sun dried tomatoes, a bag of avocados, etc. Got on TRAX, got off at Courthouse and took the green line to Rancho Market. Got some good deal fruits and vegetables such as two red potatoes .59, two white potatoes .44, six jalapenos .19, cilantro .34, six white onions $1.22, four Mexican squash .77, one pound of strawberries $1.59, two mangoes $1, three peaches .84, etc. I managed to spend $66.54 at the three stores. Now I have $18.35 SNAP to last until August 15th for food. Who can live on that? Sigh…

I love shopping in the evening. It feels like a whole other world. The city is sparkly. The sky is gorgeous. Sunset was as I was going over the big bridge, on my way to Rancho. When I left the store, I turned on my LED green blinky thing and hoped no cars would run me over. There wasn’t a single crossing flag to be found in the holders at any intersection.

It was a pleasant train ride until we got to Temple station. Hordes of rich, old people, all dressed up, crowded onto the train…like sardines. I have never been on TRAX when every inch of standing room was taken. I could hear lots of LDS buzzwords, so most of the crowd must have been LDS. I watched husbands and wives, a bit older than me, interacting. Tears started leaking out. I pretty much avoid “normal people” doing “normal things”. I dart in and out of stores, mostly oblivious to the people around me.

Wow. It hit hard. At that moment I realized how different I am. In a wheelchair, fat, alone, sick, disconnected, poor, no one to care about me at home but a cat. The crowdedness made me feel panicky. I was walled in and could not get out. I had three bags of groceries hanging from the back of my wheelchair and a case of coconut water at two cans for $1, between my feet. Rich people having a good time acted as if I was invisible, an alien and of no consequence. Only one guy attempted to clear a pathway so I could get to the door. Lots of people were going down the wheelchair ramp, and not letting me out. I was afraid the ramp would retract and I would be stuck on the train. Part of me wanted to plow over the oblivious couples and get out NOW. No one cared that I was in a wheelchair, trying to escape. I was irrationally freaked out.

When I finally got off the train, I was pinned against the machine to swipe cards on. Dozens of people just kept coming. No one looked at me. No one cared I was stuck in that spot. A woman walking by said to the next woman that her calling was compassionate service leader. I could not hold back the stupid tears. I cried all the way home on the sidewalks. Maybe I am more nuts than I think.

Earlier, when my neighbor came to visit, we were talking about the temple pictures on my wall. I have known her 3 years. I never knew she was a temple-going Mormon that left the church! She was very bitter. She hated temple clothing and she hated church people. She gave lots of examples how she had been snubbed. I did mention that if a wealthy ward member went to the hospital or had a baby or needed help, the ward rallied around, bringing meals, cleaning their house, giving rides to appointments….but when bad stuff happened to people like me….silence.

After talking about that, then being stuck in the LDS crowd, I felt very alone and very different. At least the stretch from the Courthouse TRAX station to past Washington Park is usually devoid of people. I could sob in total privacy.

Yup….glad to get home! I got here just after 10. And I am stocked up on food for awhile. Now I can rest in peace. Hmmmmm….that sounds morbid….

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