Melanie Lakis emerged from the big box office supply store shaking her head. Her curses were muffled behind her N95 mask.
“Virtual school starts next week. This is the fifth store I’ve been to. Like all the others, they’re sold out of pens and notebooks.”
She stuffed her mask inside the storage console of her minivan and slammed the lid closed.
“Buying online doesn’t work, either. They take your order and your payment. Then you get an email. ‘Sorry, forgot to mention, due to the pandemic, we’re out of stock.’ Now I’m out and about, and still no luck.”
Lakis drove while thumbing her cell phone, searching for any office supply store.
“Before our government ignored a world-wide plague, this was so simple. Get to work early, bring a duffel bag like I just came from the gym. Raid the supply cabinet. Done. Easy. A yearly tradition. Now? What a pain in the ass.”
She fidgeted in the driver’s seat, not noticing her minivan slowly rolling through a red light.
“Everyone in my Facebook Mommy Chat group is in the same boat. One said she got her son to go on the dark web for magic markers. That’s ridiculous. Why does her kid know how to do that? What else is he doing on there? Us cool moms were wondering about that in our secret side mommy chat group.”
She gave the finger to a sign that read, ‘We Support Our Essential Workers!’
“I don’t mean that,” she quickly added. “I support them. I’m just not myself lately. Taking stuff from work is part of the natural order of things, right? The circle of life. It’s how you know life is normal. When you can’t do it, you know the world has gone crazy.”