Last night after choir practice, I was hungry. I had missed dinner before leaving the house but had a large lunch, so I just wanted a snack. It’s a long way home from my rehearsal site, so I pulled up at a drive-through window to get something, and then slipped into the empty grocery store parking lot next door to eat it. (I’m too distractable to try to eat while I drive. Or to do anything other than driving while I drive.) I turned on the latest episode of one of my current set of podcasts to kill time.

It made me think about last year, in the last months of my old job. I escaped every day for lunch, not wanting to be in the place that hurt any more than I had to. I mostly went to fast-food places, because they were handy and for the physical comfort-value of junk food. At first I went inside and sat with a book and read, but later on I drew so far inside myself that I didn’t want even that little bit of contact or exposure to other people, to possible interaction. I used drive-through windows and parked in empty corners of parking lots and listened to podcasts, with familiar voices that felt a little friendly. This was a daily routine for months. It was physically unhealthy, financially unhealthy, socially unhealthy — but it was one of my broken ways of trying to keep myself together.

I thought about that last night, sitting in a dark empty parking lot with a snack before driving home. I thought about the sad, hurting person I had been then, and about how I never want to go back to being her again.


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