The drive down the mountain was lovely. I have never made that drive in the morning and the land sparkled in the bright eastern light. I glimpsed the snowy mountains in my rearview and smiled as I turned onto the paved roads. Traffic was light and I made good time. I stopped at the post office in Livermore.
I headed through Old Town on College, scanning the right side for Target until I found it. They had almost everything I needed. Almost, only one thing was missing. Whole Foods, that land of temptation, would surely have it, but no. Traffic was picking up. It is Saturday after all, and Memorial Day weekend. College is a busy street.
I stopped at the bank to cash a check and borrow the phone book. Only a handful of import shops were listed, nothing Asian and nothing near here. No world markets or Asian markets were listed at all. None of the tellers knew of anyplace. So I tried Safeway, with no luck there either. Finally, the last resort: Wal-Mart.
By this time is was noon. The streets were full, the parking lot was full, the isles were full, with children running everywhere. I didn’t find it in this section or that, but finally, FINALLY, tucked away at the bottom of the tiny Asian foods section, there it was! I got eight boxes. The checkouts were full. Children were running absolutely everywhere. People on their cell phones, families talking, arguing, children crying. Finally, I won free and had to stop myself from speeding out of town.
I hadn’t noticed it on the way down, but traffic on the highways moves so fast! The landscape just blurs by. Even the beat up little gas station outside of town was busy, with an entire school bus full of white water rafters. Finally I made it to the turn at The Forks, then to what I am now thinking of as my own little dirt road. Then past the front gate. It is lunchtime still and Downtown is full of people. I stop to say hello, leave some of my goodies in my snack box in the mudroom, then head to my office. I felt like I was fleeing.
I finally made it to my office, my haven, where everything is just as I left it. These four walls, these two windows, this door, the cluttered desk, full bookshelves, and tatty old chair stacked with the phone books I have been sitting on is still pulled up to the tall drafting table. I can’t think. I am so wound up.
Being in the city, even a small city like Fort Collins, was pleasant at first but soon became overwhelming. Wal-Mart was the tipping point, I think. Even living in a city like I normally do, I avoid Wal-Mart. I’ve sorted out my purchases now, wrapped four of my eight boxes up with shiny green ribbon and a birthday card, and sat long enough to check my email. I think I’ll walk back uptown, get a nice hot chocolate and sit, watch the magpies clean up from lunch, and breath this tension away.
This is the suffering of attachment.