Maggie and I went for our walk very early today. We normally walk down by the elementary school and then up by the old cotton mill which is two miles. I was daring today and took a deviation from our normal route and walked through the neighborhood next to mine. The disparity between that neighborhood and mine is stark and alarming, and it happens so abrupt. I call it Ghetto Land.
The biggest thing I noticed was the trash everywhere. There were hundreds of broken beer bottles lining the curb all as we walked. Maggie had to watch where she stepped and it worried me her foot would get cut. Beer cans and convenience store bags littered the yards. Big Rottweilers and Pitbulls on chains barked menacingly from front yards every few houses causing Maggie to jump back in alarm. It was an entirely bad idea and I am not usually afraid of such things due to my storied history and past. My aloofness can make me brave sometimes.
I stopped at the end of the neighborhood at the point the road transects with the housing projects. I stood and thought deeply for a moment and headed into a nicer neighborhood down the street. As kids, we would quickly take a short cut through the housing projects on our bikes. The black kids would run out and try to pelt us white kids with rocks in anger as we shouldn't be there. Luckily, they all had bad aim most of the time. We would peddle furiously and then break out in uproarious laughter as we emerged on the other side unscathed. It was fun and like running the gauntlet. That memory came flooding back as I stood there on the threshold of what we would call then as enemy territory.
Today was grocery day and much needed it was. I was out of everything and I was looking forward to my coveted box of unfrosted strawberry Poptarts. Grocery day actually starts on Wednesday when Mom will call me and ask me what I need. It takes about six frantic calls for mom to finally be content that I've told her everything. Dad was laying in the bed yesterday when the calls where going on and heard mom in her bedroom. He said last night that he was listening in and thought, "That must be driving Andrew crazy! He's going to have a panic attack!" I laughed. It doesn't bother me. It actually makes me smile.
Mom started buying my groceries when I had an exceptionally bad bout with my mental illness. I could barely go out of the house without a panic attack. Mom thankfully took over the reigns from dad and began this routine. Mom actually likes doing it much to my surprise despite her propensity to lay in the bed and dread everything. Mom just adores doctor appointments, errands, and such things. She also loves to write checks on my checking account and buy me stuff. It is kind of like shopping for mentally ill people. And the tradition continues despite me feeling much better these days. Thank goodness.