Today I saw the leaves fall. I breathed in the cool, wet smell of leaves soaking in the rain. I took a long walk with my dog, because I knew I would not be able to do so later. Later, I went to Walmart to buy some beer. I definitely would want to drink this evening. I had half an hour but, well, you know what it’s like at Walmart.
I have to wait in line for a real cashier to confirm my age, and there is a lady ahead of me with two gift cards and some change. I wait. There’s something wrong with one of the gift cards. She apologizes to me. I tell her it’s okay, but inside I’m anxious. I consider paying for her. I consider just leaving. I have less than ten minutes to get home. Finally, oh miracle of miracles, she get her card working and it’s my turn.
I walk out the door briskly, but not actually running. Inside, I’m panicking. Can I even make it in five minutes? I don’t know.
I speed home. Ironic, I’ve already broken the law, but it’s the rational choice. A speeding ticket is not so bad.
I arrive home, just in time. No one is waiting for me. Small blessings. I am not relieved yet. I still have a sign to post.
I write in Sharpie on a three by five card, and make sure it is visible on my front door. Now, I turn out all the lights and begin my five-and-a-half-hour confinement. Still, I am not relieved. I hope nobody sees my sign.