I got stuck yesterday.
Not in an elevator.
Or a tar pit.
Or anywhere else that people typically get stuck.
I got stuck yesterday.
In the grocery store.
It started out with the best of intentions. Of course. I mean, what doesn’t start out well intentioned? Except for, like, murder or fraud or blue Jell-O with fruit on the inside and other insidious crimes against society.
I intended to go to the grocery store, and I intended to get home. Unfortunately, only one of those things actually happened, because by the time I’d arrived and done my shopping, I had no idea how to get home, and I was too exhausted to really try.
Thank God for roommates with Priuses who get to leave work at 2:00 p.m. And who are also, coincidentally, very nice to the new kid.
But while I was standing there (and standing there and standing there – California traffic is truly as bad as they say) waiting for my roommate J to pick me up, I was thinking about the irony of being stuck at a dang Safeway, when just two short months ago, I thought if I moved to a brand new city, I would never be stuck again.
Because two short months ago, I felt completely stuck in my own life, no matter where I was. At work in my beige cubicle, at home with my parents, at coffee, at the mall, in a completely different Safeway across the country. I was completely stuck in every facet of my life.
And now, two short months later, I am so unstuck it’s unreal. Except when I go to Safeway, it seems.
Two short months later, I have a brand new job. It’s hard, I’ll admit it. I feel like a moron approximately 62% of the time, and I have started to experience dizzying bouts of panic that I’m not going to be able to finish my work before 8 p.m. and I’m going to have to manage public transportation late in the evening, pressing through the dark fog that creeps into a San Francisco night like a gloved hand just looking for something to grab.
I have a brand new apartment, complete with two strangers, lime green walls, and carpeting that looks like a frat partied oh so hard upon it. Luckily it also has bay windows, a fireplace, and amazing proximity to everything that is fun about my new neighborhood. Oh, and about those strangers: they’re so very lovely.
I have a brand new city to call home. SF, Fog City, down by the bay (where the watermelons grow) – call it whatever you want: San Francisco is where I live now. It’s a truly amazing city, and I’ve already learned so much.
For example, I learned that the Safeway is known as Dateway and you need to be pretty when you go there because romance might be borne of tradition, but in our Marina grocery store, romance is also born over the bananas. Wink wink.
I learned the Marina express bus only runs during peak hours, and is guaranteed to be creeper-free, as it’s always full of the pretty people who inhabit my ‘hood. Catching it is critical to getting home on time, in one piece, and looking good while you do it.
I learned that the best fro-yo in the Marina is sold out of the back of a liquor store, and the best hangover food is served to you on the sidewalk, right next to the bar that did you in.
I learned that it doesn’t matter where you go, you still might get stuck sometimes.
But when you do, you can just call a lovely stranger with a Prius to come unstick you. And while you wait, you can make flirty eyes over the fruit. Because that’s what you can do when your life is upside down and you live in an apartment with lime green walls and you have a crazy job in a big new city and you can do whatever you want.
I got stuck in the grocery store, but I’m really just stuck scratching my head because all of a sudden, I have an amazing new life.
Sometimes when you’re stuck, you’re free.