Stepping Out

A few days ago I happened to encounter some friends at the library. We talked for a while, then they asked if I were going to a tea for a local artist. I said no, and added that I wasn’t yet comfortable being in group. One woman asked me if my reluctance was because of the virus or because I didn’t want to be around people.

I had to chuckle at her perspicacious comment. I was doing well trying to be sociable until the restriction on gatherings was put in place, and then suddenly, I was back in my milieu (being by myself). It’s one of the reasons that when a job opportunity arose, I took it — not only would it help with my bills, but it would keep me from being a total hermit in those hermitage times. I never felt uncomfortable, either with the women or with the prospect of getting sick, because we more or less formed our own little family group.

The truth is, though, now that things are opening up again, I really am hesitant to be around people. During the past year and a half, I never got sick. I had allergy flareups, but I never caught anything at all, no colds, no “regular” flu, no infections of any kind. I must admit, I did like that. A lot.

Still, the woman’s comment did make me rethink my ways. If I let the reluctance at being around people get any stronger, it could become a stranglehold. Though I didn’t go to that tea, I did attend a meeting of the local art guild, and when the opportunity arose to attend another get together, I waffled, but I did go.

It’s possible I’ll retreat into my lovely shell again (a reference to my house, of course), but I don’t know. I do know I enjoyed being around people again, so I might continue stepping out.

Unless I get sick, of course; then all bets are off.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

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Wanting to Run Away

Lately I’ve had the feeling I want to run away. I’m not sure if I’ve been around people too much, especially those I don’t care for, or if I haven’t been around people enough, including those I don’t care for. Either way, especially today, I feel the need for something else, though I don’t know what.


Originally, my May trip was supposed to be the beginning of a year-long road trip (partly because I do not want to spend another summer in debilitating heat) but I backed off because I need to give my arm more time to recover. And give me more time, too — after all, I spent six months juggling between narcotics and pain, in addition to being injected several times with the soup of drugs they use for anesthesia (some of which no one understands why they have the effect they do).


But today I again wonder if it’s time for . . .


I don’t know. More adventure?


But May will be coming soon, and that should give me a taste of being out and about and help me decide when/if to continue my great adventure.


After tomorrow, where I will have to deal with someone I would prefer not to deal with, I will have three days of adventuring in the desert. Maybe that will be enough to get me through another week without running away.

Or not.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.