Why I avoided you at the store.
Old friend- You saw me and called my name and I smiled and said hi.
I haven’t seen you in so long.
And then awkwardly glanced away. You were smiling and friendly.
After a moment of strange silence, I said something and we did that shoulder bump, handshake, man thing. And I walked away.
It must have seem rude.
But I couldn’t stay.
It wasn’t that I was late or had somewhere to go. I wasn’t late. And I had plenty of time. And definitely part of me wanted to stand there and catch up. But it was that I had to get away.
Because I was shopping and needed to get it done and I couldn’t “catch up” with an old friend. Because there was a good chance that it would for that moment, destroy me all over again.
I don’t know what you know. And when you ask me how I am or how I am doing or how the family is… I won’t know how to answer.
Do you know my son is dead?
I don’t want to play that scene out in this store right now… in front of the produce.
It is quite possible you know. Maybe you were even at the memorial service.
But I can’t recall who was there or not.
And if I tell you that it is okay and my family is fine
You may see right through that lie. Right?
I don’t know.
And what if I break down in tears? How will that play out by the tiny oranges and green apples?
Would you be thinking, “Damn, I just said hi.”
And I need lettuce. I don’t want to talk about this. Not now.
I’m sorry it seemed abrupt.
I wish I could catch up and talk about your stuff for a while.
So I push my basket to that back corner
And listen to Cat Stevens play over the speakers
As I look through the romaine.