“That’s it. We got $3K for the pickup. He’s going to put the paperwork together and it’ll be over except for the signing.”
“You’re going to stay there?” I asked in horror. The plan we discussed this morning was he’d leave as soon as the appraiser had seen the truck. We’d complete negotiations over the phone. They would do the paperwork and we’d go back at some future date to sign and pick up Prius 2.
“It’s alright. I have my computer open. No one is bothering me because ‘I’m working.’”
“That’s slick,” I said, “What are you really doing?” I couldn’t imagine anyone working in that sensory toxic environment.
“Surfing the web,” he laughed.
Although V and I have been friends for years, we had never driven anywhere together. I discovered she has no more sense of direction than I do. But with the help of GPS on my iPhone, we found our picnic spot in a green space on the Rice University campus. I spread the blanket on soft ground surrounded by ancient live oaks.
After sandwiches – the niggling headache chased into the shadows – talk turned to self-discovery. I told her about my recent revelations regarding Sensory Processing Disorder. She relayed the latest developments on her journaling adventure with a Jungian practitioner.
“I am so lucky,” I marveled, lying on my back staring through tree branches at an infinite depth of the sky. Thought flowed unencumbered, words formed spontaneously. A red jet split the sky, flying low overhead. It was a rare and magnificent visual event. Waves of pleasure and inspiration coursed through me.
But at 4:30pm we had to head back to V’s car. I pulled a map, just in case, and spoke Google’s directions out loud.
“I discovered long ago that, as a rule of thumb, I should turn opposite of whichever direction I think I should turn,” V said.
I laughed in comprehension.
“I just can’t keep all those bits of information in my head.”
“You’re not supposed to have to. It’s not harder for you because you are not smart enough.” I pointed out that she wouldn’t have an advanced degree and a professional license if she wasn’t smart. “Most people know directions instinctively.”
“How?” she asked.
“They orient by magnetic field or something.”
“You know, migratory birds don’t use higher reason to find their way south and back.”
I dropped V off and fell in line with thousands of commuters driving down I-59.
Inside the dealership, I asked for the financier, Bill (not his real name).
The suited concierge escorted me to the crowded TV room. “You can wait here.”
“May I wait over there?” I pointed down a quiet hall of offices to a wall of tinted glass overlooking a deserted acre of parking lot.
He looked at me like I was insane, then shrugged his shoulders. “Wait wherever you like.”
It took ten minutes in Bill’s tiny office to sign the stack of papers. All the while the headache knocked at my temples. I took two emergency Tylenol before I got on that last leg of freeway. But the pain was fully in force by the time I got home.
I rested, cocooned in sensory isolation, and wondered idly if I had offended the goddess of the migraine by invoking her likeness in the previous day’s negotiation. “If so, you brought it on yourself.” It hurt to laugh.
I have a whole language for headaches: tension headaches, insomnia, humidity, posture, and barometric pressure headaches. There are headaches born from over exposure to loud noise, toxic smells, bright lights and annoying people. There are travel headaches and rich food headaches.
This was a major event headache. Muscles so tight they set in play a pain loop that would not abate without intervention. My next scheduled massage wasn’t until Tuesday. I took 100 mg of Flexerol and hoped for the best.
The pain subsided enough to get out of bed. I stretched and worked on my back muscles with various self-massage devices. In the midst of self-care, I squeeze in three productivity blocks. But it didn’t stop the dark angel of Despair from visiting me at 10:30 when the Levoxyl and Wellbutrin in my system waned.
“You’ll never accomplish anything,” Despair told me, “It’s hopeless and you’re almost out of time.”
“You are wrong,” Reason replied, “You don’t even exist. After my first cup of coffee tomorrow morning, you will be vanquished.”
“You’ll never be rid of me,” she declared.
I took another 50mg of Flexerol and went to bed.
Note: Sensorina receives no money or goods from Toyota, Apple, Google or any major drug manufacturer. However…if any of them wanted to sponsor her blog, she would be happy to negotiate.