The tell-tale knock
Once, during a blue period that coincided with several particularly fat paychecks, I started ordering groceries through an online delivery service. Working from home and thus largely able to avoid the outside world, trips to the grocery store loomed large in my mind as an unpleasant but necessary breach in my castle walls. With delivery, I’d found a way to shore up the hole.
Until, that is, the first order actually arrived and the driver knocked on my door, forcing me into the very human contact I had been so eager to avoid. He was friendly, as was the woman who delivered the following week, but their ringing of the doorbell may as well have been a battering ram against the portcullis I had sought to build. When you’re dug in, even the little stuff casts long shadows.
I felt then a certain hopelessness that my best efforts to separate myself from all of it had met with failure. We may dream of an unimpeachable sanctum, but life always finds a way to remind us that dreams are just that. Build a wall, and the cracks will always appear.
Usually in short order.