[cancer] The transient illusion of competency

Couple of mildly discouraging things today. (No, I’m not depressed about any of this, just mildly discouraged.) While at lunch with and , the cashier somewha visibly older than me asked me if I qualified for the senior discount. I’m forty-five years old, people. I don’t know if it was the gray in my beard, or the general wearing down of chemo, or what. I told her, “I”m not old, just tired.”

After Day Jobbery, I went to Albertson’s by myself. I don’t much do this any more. My friends and family do my shopping for the most part, and when I do go by the store, it’s with someone. I needed a few things, and figured midafternoon would easy. I went over there with a four item list. It took me forty-five minutes to get through the store. The large, complex space was confusing to me, and even the fairly light number of shoppers felt like far too many for my comfort. I came home with four bags of stuff, half of which I’m now looking at in mild wonderment, while getting through the self-service checkout was a nightmare for me. (I would have stood in the full service line, but that was 20 minutes of waiting behind several gigantically full baskets at each open register.) The self-service cashier took pity on me and helped me get sorted out after the register kept trying to scan and weigh my man-purse despite my best efforts to the contrary.

You know, I used to be able to go to the grocery store, shop for ten minutes, and come home without mishap. This underscores to me that my “zone” has become very narrow. By myself I can handle the post office, the pharmacy, the gas station, Blockbuster, and a very limited selection of restaurants, mostly where I already know the staff. Almost everything else I do, I do with or or one of my parents, or another friend. I’ve been chalking that up to energy management, which is very real, but somewhere along the line, I’ve begun to lose my ability to simple, ordinary things.

This doesn’t actually surprise me. It’s no different from not doing my own laundry and dishes any more, really. It just…disappoints.

I shall console myself with Tweetsnarking The Fifth Element here shortly. And laying low at home for the rest of the day, doing nothing important whatsoever.