Did you ever have a day where you felt like everyone around you was going absolutely crazy for no reason? That was my Friday night.
My day was uneventful. Soothingly, uneventful, actually. A nice little Friday. Then, I left my apartment.
I planned to run to the illustrious Fairview Food Lion to get my week’s grocery haul, then Dollar General to pick up some toiletries (and a Santa hat for my living room bear sculpture), then pop by Whistle Hop Brewing to have a beer, read a chapter of the new book I picked up the day prior, and unwind under their stellar Christmas light display.
I picked up on something when I parked, and not one but two different shoppers bumped into me as I walked to the store, neither saying “sorry.” One bump felt like an intentional shoulder. I know it wasn’t, but that’s how aggressive it was. Then, I entered the Food Lion. I shop there at least once a week. It’s never crowded, but Friday there were lines at every register, and everyone looked disheveled, harried—I wouldn’t go so far as to say panicked, but I felt, as the kids say, a chaotic energy in the air, so much so that I decided I wasn’t going to adhere to the list I’d printed out to account for two new recipes I want to try, and instead got my essentials and got out fast.
Getting my groceries was uneventful for the most part, barring the woman who seemingly went out of her way in the produce section to whisper “excuse me” centimeters away from my ear as I perused some very bruised apples and three separate women RUNNING down the aisles picking up items Supermarket-Sweeps style.
I accidentally got into one of the express lanes with over 12 items, which honestly, is something I could see myself doing accidentally on a night that wasn’t weird as hell, but the cashier was perfectly polite when I apologized. It’s out in the parking lot where the real fun began.
Two dogs ran loose, chased by no less than six people. I couldn’t discern whether or not the two dogs and six people were all together or two (or more) separate groups. One of the women running around the grocery store similarly sprinted past me down a parking lot aisle, pushing a cart and yelling back to her husband (or partner? Boyfriend? I’m conjecturing here) to “get a move on it,” while he seemingly attempted to sprint, but just lumbered. The woman was dressed in yoga pants, a sweatshirt and had what I’ll term “hangover hair.” The man was dressed like he was going to a wedding.
As I pulled out of the parking lot and onto the side road that leads to the main road I needed to traverse to get back home, not one but two cars drove in the out exit. And then, right as I was waiting at the stoplight to turn out onto the road I take home, all five occupants of the SUV in front of me got out of their vehicle and just chilled in the road for a while before getting back into their car once the light turned green. I felt like Dr. Loomis in the original Halloween, watching these five individuals just wander around the road for no reason, the parking lot dog chase still happening just over a grassy median, when he’s driving up the psych-ward grounds in the rain, watching mental patients wander agendaless, waiting for Michael Myers to steal his car.
When I relayed my Food Lion experience to a friend and wondered aloud if it was a full moon, he told me it wasn’t. “Then why was everyone so weird tonight?” I asked. Because I went to the Food Lion in Fairview, he told me. This was a fair point. Except he madness continued after I left Fairview.
I decided I was going to forgo Dollar General and the brewery. Grocery shopping had just been too much. I needed to eat, so I popped by Subway for a quick sandwich. The single Subway employee yelled at me on every step of my order. An example includes, “I don’t have all night!” as I, the only patron of the store, took more than five seconds to decide whether I wanted Southwest Chipolte or Buffalo sauce on my hoagie. Did I accept her yelling at me and apologize for not choosing fast enough? Obviously!
I stopped to check my mail before returning home. There was one other vehicle, a pickup truck, checking their mail too. The driver couldn’t have been more than ten. I know I’m getting older, so teenagers may simply look younger, but I’d bet up to $75.00 that this was a middle schooler with no license.
Then, I returned to my apartment and had a perfectly, soothingly uneventful evening reading on the couch. My full moon theory was shot, so maybe all the Asheville vortexes are real and happened to all open at once.