“When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.” ~ Tennessee Williams

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, I haven’t done much outside of my house. But I needed some medications so I went on a rare outing. I had to go to the drug store. The place where everybody knows my name.

I entered and meandered down an aisle to the medicine pickup section. I could see the pharmacist working behind the counter. We gazed at each other. Then she walked up to me, smiled with her eyes and said, “Hello again”.

My face is so familiar she had all my prescriptions ready to go despite my mask.

Her greeting made me so happy. It felt good to be recognized and to be able to mingle with people.

We had some small talk while she began ringing my items through the cash register.

One med. Two med. Three med. Four.

Even though I have insurance, the bill was $90. The only things in my wallet were coins, bubble gum and hair ties. So, I paid with an always close to the limit credit card.

Before leaving I checked the receipt to make sure I received my loyal customer points.

Satisfied, I grabbed my plastic sack filled with medications and said goodbye. Then I shoved the sack into my handbag and tried to pull the zipper. But I couldn’t close my purse. It was busting open like a pill packed piñata.

The pharmacist noticed I was struggling with the bag of medicine. So, she recommended for the next refill I use the direct mail ship to home option for my prescriptions. I told her thanks for the recommendation.

When I rolled away, I noticed people shopping in the store. I saw children playing in the toy aisle. Women smelling samples of perfumes. Men wearing yellow hard hats gathering snacks and drinks from a cooler. Everyone I saw had some type of face covering. And they all greeted me with a nod and a good afternoon. Some even waved at me. It was as if I was being acknowledged by the whole shop.

As I exited the store I began dreading going back to the isolation of my home. At that point I knew I wouldn’t be ordering my medications online.

How could I? If I did, who would say hello again?