“Do you want to come?” asked Grant, on the way to Hannaford’s.
“Nooo” I responded with a quivering tone.
Too many “expeditions” in a week overwhelm me.
And we can’t have that.
Nothing of interest having occurred in the last 24 hours, (which is just as well), I shall tell you what it was that got me discombobulated these past few days.
It’s pretty pathetic, but I suspect I am not the only one who is having this experience.
At my last acupuncture appointment, the practitioner suggested that I might benefit from massage. Because of the extensive spinal fusion, my muscles don’t move as freely as they might and sometimes I feel rather as if I’ve been tied up in rope.
Massage was something I had been considering, so with a recommendation, I did not hesitate.
My first appointment was on Saturday.
Saturday, July 3rd. A 3-day holiday weekend, the World opening up after months of being shut down.
The thought did not cross my mind. Living like a hermit in normal times, the past year for me has really not been any different and certainly not any sort of trial.
But for most people it was hard.
Grant had wrenched a knee and I intended to drive myself to Greenwich (“Green Witch”, please. Not “Gren-itch”). In the end, the knee was not a problem and I did not protest being driven, which was a good thing, considering.
Greenwich is a tiny town with a main street that is mostly devoid of traffic. Generally, it’s almost a ghost town.
But last Saturday People had arrived, en masse!
“Oh my God!” I cried, “People!”
Crowds of people. Talking, inter-acting, eating, walking about, maskless. Behaving like….people. The parking lot was jammed!
Agreed, it’s a very small parking lot and the number of people was probably not much more than 30.
You might think that someone who used to work in a major terminal at JFK would laugh at the idea of calling this a crowd.
In most cases, you would be right. But even though I placed myself in that position, I have always been phobic of crowds.
It reached a point, after a number of years when I started to have panic attacks which made life difficult.
There were plenty of jobs behind the scene in the office, but the problem was everyone wanted those assignments, because very few of us liked dealing with the public.
So no-one was interested in my panic-attack problem.
It wasn’t much fun feeling like an emotional weakling. When I had office assignments, I worked like a fiend. I spent a lot of time figuring out vacation rosters and juggling numbers to allow staff time off over holidays and so on.
Often I stuck my neck out to make things work. Things were so chaotic as a matter of course that I almost never got the blame for staff shortages.
The one time I got in trouble, I was able to prove that management had been at fault and not me. But I made the mistake of showing them the paperwork which somehow vanished from my desk.
Psycho-therapy and bloody-minded determination got me through 38 years of all this drama, at which point I discovered that being exposed to constant stress does not immunize you to it.
It leaves you over-sensitized. At least it did me.
My mother survived WW2 in London, with her nerves apparently intact. Very little seemed to upset her and I was thinking that the war years had de-sensitized her.
So what do I know? Not much, obviously.
What I do know, is that after a blissful year of seeing almost no-one, suddenly, unexpectedly coming upon what seemed like a mass of humanity was rather startling.
To say that I was traumatized would be a gross exaggeration, but I didn’t like it and I felt uncomfortable.
Fortunately, I located the appropriate door and rushed quickly inside to enjoy an hour of having my sore muscles sorted out.
Discombobulated is not unusual for me these days. After all, I do live with 11 cats and a quirky bloke.
My reluctance to undertake gardening at the moment is more because I am trying to establish what has been the effect of the various treatments I have had recently.
Nerve ablation, facet injection, acupuncture, massage. No one promised me I would be rejuvenated or 100% pain-free. I need to know just where I am at “in neutral”, so to speak and I am just getting to where the last treatment is supposed to kick in.
Then I can decide how much effort to put into the garden and whether to start again on the exercise routine Grant devised for me.
It’s always been my inclination, on a good day, to rush out and get into a project that inevitably takes much longer than anticipated, with punishing results.
Maybe I can approach things more sensibly.