It’s okay to be odd…

A work of dystopian speculative fiction (maybe) …

Truth be told, she had a vivid imagination. Mostly, she was able to control it by focusing on the present moment, detailed analytical tasks, or solving complex puzzles. But grocery shopping day always presented challenges. As an empath, wandering among so many random feelings and thoughts made her feel as though she was somehow entering a viscous “twilight zone” where whatever laws that govern the world were temporarily and totally suspended.

The experience that comes to mind to illustrate what happens involves a rather heavy-set young man. He was standing up from the wheeled conveyance he needed to get around the store, laughing and exclaiming his delight at the many flavors of Spam. He was reading the label on each can, announcing the flavor loudly, and throwing many of them into his companion’s shopping cart.

It took her a moment to hold her self-righteous judgement at bay. Spam reminded her of the canned pork, lard, and starchy commodities distributed by the federal government to her Ojibwe ancestors. It’s not something her ancestors would ever have chosen to eat and doing so left a legacy of serious health issues for generations. As “captive nations,” they had been confined to reservations on the least desirable lands and forbidden to carry on the traditional hunting, gathering, and gardening activities that had helped them survive for millennia.

Corporations have done an effective job marketing this as a convenient, desirable food,” she thought. “Sadly, few people know that.”

Sliced_Spam

Source: By BrokenSphere – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Entering the twilight zone…

And just maybe, there are tiny magnetic nano particles embedded in genetically modified foods and other health products. If people eat enough of them, nano particles are stored in organs throughout their bodies, attracting them by a magnetic pull toward certain foods every time they enter the store.”

Watching other shoppers walk aimlessly in a daze, or rush about impatiently almost hitting other shoppers with their carts only added to her imaginative speculation. Sometimes she was able to resist the pull and focus on one person whom she could help. It was “grounding.” Afterwards, the viscosity of the atmosphere would abate somewhat, allowing her to remember to be present and kind when other opportunities arose.

She may never know the truth about this speculative puzzle. There’s really nothing she can do about it anyway, except to be increasingly more thoughtful about what she’s choosing to eat.

22 thoughts on “It’s okay to be odd…

  1. Love this! And quite true I suspect. Particles in the form of fat, sugar and flavour concocted in measures sufficient to induce a chemical dependency. Trucking the body into identifying the can with the feeling of ‘yum… Give me more’.

    The chicken nugget phenomenon. Extracting nutrients from kids bodies hijacking their brains and removing cognitive recognition of real food sources!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ah, David, it’s so good to hear from you. It’s hard to know what’s real and true these days, eh? It seems important to raise those issues with humor and a bit of humble levity…

      Sending my best wishes to you, 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mmh – this piece grabbed me somewhere… the title suggested it might be comforting to the reader who has just been rather harsh towards a self-assured woman less than half her age, reading on I thought I got into something toxic only to be utterly confused at the end, Serves me right. Thanks for writing –

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your engaging comments, Barbara. This was a fun experiment to try to reflect what it’s like to live during these confusing times. I often ponder a simple question – “Is there one truth or are there many?” I suspect it’s not a question I will be able to answer this lifetime. Sending my gratitude to you for reading this to the end and commenting. 💜

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Carol, I felt as if I was walking through description of a number of experiences I’ve had in many places; the grocery store being only one. This amazing and personal writing really touched me. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, dear Carrie. I know others have had similar experiences as well, yet it seems to be a bit of a taboo topic. These are such confusing times it’s impossible to know what’s true. or what can say without offending others. Sending my best wishes, dear friend. 💜

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Carol, you may not have meant to evoke laughter (my husband has accused me of inappropriate laughter). But, I couldn’t help but chuckle by the end. It is good to find a creative perspective around these challenging aspects of modern life. In this small town, grocery shopping can be a loathsome experience. Before the pandemic, I often felt physically ill after shopping. Now, I always wear a mask in the stores – this is a tourist town. Thanks for sharing your future fantasies. I was looking through some of my “story ideas” wondering what I should do with them. This was a fun read.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Skywalker. They are so affirming. IA number of friends have shared similar experiences with grocery stores, too.

      I have to admit that this post was intentionally written to be lighthearted about these confusing, divisive times. And it made me laugh when I wrote it (and still does). Honest humor that is not at someone else’s expense is in such short supply these days. It’s a risk, but honestly, it’s one I prefer given the alternatives. I can’t bear to write anything more about sadness, troubling times, or war. I have another piece in progress but it will take a bit more thought.

      Sending gratitude and best wishes to you, dear friend. 💜

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It was an unexpected encounter, Rob. Amusing on some levels, while deeply concerning on others. I find the global popularity, ingredients, and photo of the product even more disturbing, though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing!!.. I find that if one follows their heart with a open mind one rarely goes wrong… often times for many, they search for the answers they are looking for and wish to believe, whether it is the truth or not… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your troubles be less
    Your blessings be more
    And nothing but happiness
    Come through your door
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

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