You throw your tote bag into your car, and you start creating a mental grocery list of things you’ll pick up at the grocery store: onions, feta cheese, kale, corn tortillas -you’re in the mood for your famous kale tacos. Then there’s a huge boom. You’re not sure if it’s bullets or a bomb or something else, but it’s in the vicinity, and sky is lit up, and you feel yourself start to cower. Somehow, comprehension sinks in and you realize it’s fireworks. For some bizarrely stupid reason there are fireworks in November somewhere near you.
You sit in your car trying to get your bearings. You sit and sit and sit and sit. You’re floaty and scared and hungry and freaked. You have the car running, and you don’t want to run out of gas, but you see the gas gauge is close to empty. It’s been at least 30 minutes, so you decide to head to the grocery store since the fireworks are long since done, and your’e calmer now.
Or, so you thought you were calmer. You’re driving, and you’re nearly to the grocery store, and you see flashing red and blue lights behind you. You pull over into the parking lot of the neighborhood diner, and you’re confused. You don’t know what you did, or what happened to merit getting pulled over by the police. You’re scared, scared, scared …
“Ma’am, you don’t have to get out of the car. License and registration please.”
“What … what did I do wrong?”
“License and registration please, and then we’ll talk.”
“Ma’am, are you feeling okay tonight? You were driving on the shoulder for a good while there. I followed you for a bit to see if you would correct it. What have you been up to tonight?”
“I … I … I was at the coffee shop, and I was putting my things in the car when fireworks started nearby, and I needed to wait before I drove because I was … startled.”
“Ma’am, is something wrong?”
“I … have … PTSD, and the fireworks … really … startled me. I’m sorry.”
“Ma’am, is there anything I can do for you?”
“You know, ma’am, this diner is a nice place to eat if you need to relax for a bit. I’m not giving you a ticket or anything like that. Have a good night.”
(Photo credit: Camera Slayer)