sensory processing disorder
This is one of my pet peeves, when someone repeats themselves just as I’m about to answer them… just so I can process it all over again. 😒
“If you answered me the FIRST time, i wouldn’t have to repeat myself.” 🤦♂️
So, I’m having a stressful evening mentally. I was going to get coffee at the Wawa on I-Drive to distract myself, but I decided self-care was more important. The lights of traffic outside (at 8pm no less) were blindingly bright (streetlights are pretty much non-existent in my area) and the mobile concerts were almost deafening at times, #sensoryhell neither helps with my perpetual headache so I came back inside.
Besides, LAST time I went to Wawa, I was forced to figure out how to react to someone sending this page a message about my personal profile being “banned” from an unspecified page (a kind of weird thing to do, plus it took me two and a half days to figure out which one).
The plus side is, I have more money for rent and bills. Oh, and I can still go out tomorrow morning if I really wanted to…
My dishwasher has been out of commission for the past week or so, but they finally sent someone up to “fix” it this afternoon – and by “fix” I mean they ran half an empty cycle before deciding it was “good enough” for me to use (even though that’s exactly what they did LAST time I reported this and obviously, it worked because I reported it again).
Since my dishwasher was out of service, I have been forced to hand wash my dishes, so I didn’t have a huge reserve available for a test load. However, I did it anyway, but since I hate the amount of noise it makes when it’s running so I went out to eat at the Golden Corral on I-Drive (in the plaza as Cici’s and 1-2-3 Dollar).
Anyway, I leave the apartment and when the trolley arrives, I sit in the front row behind the driver and across from a young family visiting from DC who were complaining that their 2yo daughter couldn’t get on any rides at the Magic Kingdom.
“Come on, you think Disney, you think ‘KIDS.’ So, of course, I took my kids (ages 2 and 1.5) with me, but the only ride they were tall enough to ride was fricken Dumbo. I’m sooo glad we paid all that money to get into a KIDS park without any kids rides. Grrr, what a rip-off (neglecting to mention that both of his kids got in free, and that height requirements for all rides are easily found online). We’re going to take the trolley to Discovery Zone or SeaWorld tomorrow afternoon – at least THEY have kids’ rides.”
“Actually, it’s Discovery COVE, and it’s a fairly far walk from the nearest troll-”
Suddenly, he leans forward and taps the driver on the shoulder, he then gestures towards me and says:
“Buddy here’s got a question for you.”
“Wait, I do? I was trying to-”
“No, no, buddy, it’s okay. You’re allowed to ask questions here. Go on, I got his attention for you.”
“What ‘question?’ I don’t HAVE a ‘question.’ Why do I need to come up with a question I don’t have to ask the driver when I was trying to tell you about Discovery Cove? Then he can answer the question you are forcing me to come up with, so you can justify getting his attention, so I can tell you more about SeaWorld and Discovery Cove.”
That’s the point when his real message finally hit me. Fortunately, because I’m crazy and stupid, he gave a nice summary of his ordeal…
“God, buddy, what is your problem? I’m trying to be NICE to you here, you freakin’ jerk.”
Am I your “buddy” or am I a “freakin’ jerk,” make up your mind? However, I have been doing this blog long enough to know “what is your problem” is an insult. Period. I can give a wonderful explanation of Aspergers’ and Autism completely on the fly (okay, not really), but it would invariably fall on deaf ears because no presumably smart and/or sane person likes (as a far blunter observer once put it) “being lectured by crazy-ass retards.”
The Golden Corral is stop 31, and when I got off “buddy” was his buddy again. Also, crossing southern I-Drive can be tricky at times, but I managed to get across pretty easily. The parking lot was unusually full, there was no line to get into the restaurant nor did I have any particular trouble finding a table.
I’m never sure if I’m supposed to wait for my server to stop by and “sign” my check or just go up to the buffet, but since the former is usually easier, that’s the one I chose. I came back to my booth and the check was signed so all was good.
She came back as I was eating to find out if I wanted another drink which I declined, but instead of going away, she stepped closer, taking my plate, asking what kind it was and I repeated I “wasn’t ready” for another drink at which point she makes a sassy comment about “I was asking for next time” and storms off as if I did something wrong (or at least not intentionally).
I go up to get my second (and last) round of food. I am nearly finished, and had opened my wallet to see if I had enough to give her a tip when I hear a sharp: “You want another root beer?”
I tried to tell her “no” because I was busy, but instead of going away, she comes right up to my table, essentially blocking me in and says “I couldn’t hear you from back there. What did you need again?”
“I’m trying to determine if I have enough money for a tip, so I can leave the restaurant without getting another drink.”
“Oh, let me see that… Oh, ’21.01’ that would make a ten percent tip $2, a fifteen percent tip $3 or a twenty percent tip $4. You never answered me if you wanted another root beer or not.”
Apparently, I’m an idiot.
“Well since I don’t have $4 on me, I guess I might as well give her 15%. Yes, I already answered your question: I said I needed to ‘figure out your tip so I can leave your store without getting another drink.’”
“There is something seriously WRONG with you,” she said as if I couldn’t hear her. “Who the hell gets scared by someone asking for another drink from four tables away?”
It was technically TWO, and she were saying it rather loudly – just as she had the “questions” poste above. At least she got out of my way to “ask” them. It wasn’t until I got the first exit door that I realized the irony of this evening’s conversations.
Fortunately, when I went to the discount grocery store next door, the cashier barely spoke to me. She coldly rung up my order, and we didn’t talk. It was quite refreshing actually… kind of like coming back to mostly clean dishes.
Today is “Fire Sprinkler Inspection Day” at Sea Isle (required by law for all apartment complexes in Florida). The fire Marshal, apartment manager and maintenance supervisor come around to poke around the apartment – including the closets 😮 – to check smoke detectors and see if you have the right number of fire sprinklers in your unit.
I can hear the alarms getting louder, so they must be coming soon. I HATE the alarms they’re extremely loud and the flashing lights give me a headache. At least this time I won’t be in the shower…
“Fire Marshal,” he shouted over the roar of the water. “You have less than one minute to open this door before I knock it the fuck down!”
Back to the present, I’ve been hanging out on the balcony with headphones on for the past hour as the noise from the other buildings has gotten steadily louder.
I think they left now, but it was 15-20 minutes of pure TERROR while they were doing my section of the building as even with headphones the noise was absolutely deafening.
Fortunately, I wasn’t naked this time (as my balcony overlooks the main walkway through the complex). However, I still managed to make a fool of myself in front of the Fire Marshal and the maintenance woman when I was blinded by the flashing lights AND doubled over in pain from the noise (as jolting up when they knocked on my neighbor‘s door threw the earbuds out of my ears leaving my ears unprotected). I have no idea how they do that without earplugs.
Oh, and the inspection of my unit itself took less than a full minute so there was that…
Did that headline make sense to you?
Good, that makes TWO of us. I was thinking of that annoying Will Ferrell movie, but, sadly, it had nothing to do with that abomination.
I was going out to buy milk from the 7-11 catty-corner from my apartment. That was my only intention for this humid fall night – nefarious or otherwise… and, yes, I’ll get to that later in this essay, but first some context…
It was 7:45pm, and, due to the quaint anachronism known as “Daylight Saving Time,” it was practically pitch black out there save for oncoming traffic (which are extra dangerous for me due to my having a 1.5 second processing delay – which can be absolutely deadly as a pedestrian), a couple of flickering/sparsely placed streetlights and the signs on top of the two hotels – plus the aforementioned convenience on the other side of the extremely busy intersection.
That is stressful enough for me under normal conditions (but is far better than being out in the day’s heat), but did I mention that I also had to deal with the deafening noise of a rapidly approaching fire truck with horns blaring and sirens at FULL VOLUME.
I get it – it’s an actual emergency, but it doesn’t have to stop an inch behind me blaring said horns directly into my ears while I’m in the middle of a busy intersection with the pedestrian signal up (it was also the very thing I was trying to avoid so, congrats, mission accomplished).
This caused me to jump 3 feet in the air and freeze temporarily while their sirens were still going and now they were shouting “MOVE YOUR (horn)ING ASS (double horn), YOU (horn)ING RETARDED ASS(horn)!!!”
“Shit. God damnit, that hurts,” I said holding my ears in pain as I tried to continue crossing the street while the fire truck nearly clipped me as it shot off behind me.
“Buddy, up ya mad psycic elf,” this guy in a black and grey hoodie said passing me from behind, I could barely hear over the ringing in my ears.
“HEY, BUDDY,” he said repeating it for me impatiently. “I SAID ‘YOU’RE OFF YOUR MEDS AGAIN, YOU FUCKING PSYCHOPATH!!!’”
That is both helpful and not helpful at the same time – especially since I once again only caught half of it.
“God damnit,” I said stepping onto the sidewalk, “that horn was loud and an inch away from my ear. What the hell is wrong with them? Fu…ow. Seriously.”
“I SAID ‘SHUT UP, YOU ARE A FUCKING LUNATIC! GET IN THERE (pointing to the CVS on the corner), BUY YOUR MEDS AND GET THE FUCK OUTTA MY TOWN, YOU RETARDED ASSHOLE!!”
That I sort of understood, but as I tried to work it through in my head, I didn’t realize I was repeating everything I was saying out loud.
“MASS SHOOTER?!! WHERE,” I shouted looking around frantically for a place to hide. Of course, there wasn’t so much as a bush in a 100-foot radius, so I looked like a madman to 100s of oncoming cars.
“YOU ARE,” he said flipping me off as he finally disappearing somewhere into the darkness. “YOU GOD-DAMNED RETARDED LUNATIC!”
Sure, he was gone… but what if he came back later in my trip? I wondered as I continued to walk towards my destination, my body still shaking as I entered the convenience store, but, hey, at least, my hearing was starting to come back…
I was having a rather dull dinner with my mom and her friends in a restaurant I’d never been to before. As we sit down, my mom points out that they have “mozzarella sticks” here (because I apparently can’t read menus on my own) and how terrible the ones we had the night before were.
As I’m looking over the underwhelming menu, a harried waitress comes up from one side of the table and a woman I’d never seen before comes up the other: “Oh, hi, Liz.” “Linda, hi, wonder seeing you here, how are…”
“JONATHAN,” my mom’s friend Barb shouted to get my attention and successfully scaring the living crap out of me. “YOUR turn to order!”
“JONATHAN,” my mom snapped at me for dropping my phone on the table. “That is completely unnecessary! Just tell her what you want to drink and be done with it.”
So, now, I’ve got my mom, her friends, the waitress and half the restaurant staring at me. No pressure.
“We’s got Coke, Diet Coke, Ginga-hale…”
“Water,” I replied only hearing the first three.
“All this shit,” my mom said exasperatedly, “and you’re ordering WATER? Jesus-fucking-God. Anyway, Linda, did you hear about…”
“What ’bout you, ma’am?”
“Um, water with lemon… Wait, Jonathan, you said wanted the mozzarella sticks.”
“Um, no, you asked me about them.”
“So, he wan’s the mozza sticks,” the waitress asked from three tables away.
“JONATHAN, do you want the mozzarella sticks or not?”
“Yes, he does. Thank you.”
Wait, WHAT? I literally just said “no” three times.
“Okay, I’ll put d’em in with ya order.”
A few minutes later, she returns with Barb’s soda, my water and my mom’s water with lemon, and immediately proceeds to take our orders. It’s now, 45 seconds before I’m expected to make my order, that Barb points out that there is a “special board” behind me that I missed before I sat down. Mom is still talking to that lady so, congratulations, it’s bumped up to about 35 seconds.
“Honey dipt [sic] chicken with fries”
“Fries, coleslaw, side salad, apple sauce, corn, lima beans…”
“I said ‘fries.’”
“I know d’at, but ya need a SECOND side.”
“Why? I don’t need a ‘second side.’”
“Ya meal comes wit a second side.”
“And I’m telling you, I don’t want a ‘second side.’”
Why is this so hard to understand?
“So, ya want TWO plates of fries?”
“No, I want one plate of fries. I’m telling you I don’t wa-”
“Give him apple sauce and be done with it.”
“And you ma’am?”
“Um, yeah… I’ll have… um, I’ll have… whatever he’s having, but with lima beans instead of apple sauce.”
Then Barb starts on some meandering story about a feud she was having with one of her neighbors who had allegedly called cops the on her “out of spite – TWICE.” The kind of story that was extremely hard to follow unless you knew what was going on (who they were, what happened and how did it escalate so far). She gets about 2/3 of the way through her story when the waitress unceremoniously plops a plate of bland looking mozzarella sticks in front of me.
“Here ya go, buddy. Enjoy.”
What the fuck is this? When I order it? What am I supposed to do with them, and, more importantly, who the fuck is “buddy?”
“Jonathan,” my mom asked. “What the hell is wrong with you? Why aren’t you eating the mozzarella sticks you ordered?”
“I didn’t order them.”
“Yes, you did.”
“No, I didn’t. I didn’t want them, and I still don’t.”
“Then why the hell did you order them?”
“I DIDN’T. YOU did because YOU wanted to know if they were ‘any better than the ones we had last night.’”
“Oh, for God’s sake, just eat the damned things.”
So, basically, I’m now forced to eat bland mozzarella sticks I don’t want and didn’t order because I did order them and do want to eat them solely to satiate my mother’s mild curiosity. Neuro-typical logic at it’s finest, folks.
After a long tangent about how much money she’s make “inventing a phone [cord] that don’t get all tangled like the ones we got at work” (man, she’ll be disappointed to find out cordless phones have been around since at least 2001 – if not earlier), she finally gets back to repeating the second half of her story for us. I still have no idea what’s going on other than this neighbor lady is (allegedly) “psycho” or something, and worse, nothing was going on on Facebook or Messenger and I had zero new e-mails.
An excruciatingly long time later, the waitress returns and once again plops our food down with the enthusiasm of an abnormally excited rock. Barb got the fish with corn. My mom got fried chicken with fries and lima beans, and I got fried chicken with fries…and a humongous bowl of apple sauce.
Once again, I have no clue who’s eating it, but, my god, that’s a LOT of apple sauce. Meanwhile, the lukewarm fries were undercooked, but the chicken was actually pretty good.
By the time we were ready to leave, it was already 7pm. Mom wanted to get some ice cream t Mauer’s a few blocks away on Market Street, but one of the ladies loitering on the porch of the building next door rather curtly informed me was “closed” (no details, just “closed”). In the car, I made the mistake of asking what Barb’s rambling neighbor story was about.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” my mom replied.
“What was Barb’s problem with her neighbor and the police coming to her house?”
“Who’s house? What neighbor? Who’s calling the police for what? I have no clue what you’re asking.”
“Augh, that’s what I just asked YOU. Essentially, you want me to know the answers to the questions I just asked you so you can repeat the answers back to me in which case I wouldn’t need to ask them to you in the first place”
“Jesus-fucking-Christ, Jonathan, what the fuck are you talking about? God, ‘houses,’ ‘neighbors,’ ‘police?’ I have no clue what the hell you’re even talking about?”
“What the hell was Barb talking about in her long rambling story about having her neighbor call the police on her twice in the past week?”
“Thank you, Jesus, THAT I understood. It wasn’t a ‘neighbor,’ she was renting a property she owned out as apartments, and the current tenant was three months behind in her rent so Barb was forced to evict her, but she refused to leave so…”
Bo – ring. See? I knew asking was a mistake.
Now that I’ve “stressed [her] out,” she decides to go to Weis to pick up a gallon box of ice cream leaving me in the car as she shops. It’s not much, but it’s a break…
It’s just after 10am, and I am standing on the dock outside the newly renovated Waterside Marketplace waiting for the ferry to cross the Elizabeth River to Portsmouth. The weather app on my phone says its 65 degrees and cloudy, but the chilly ocean wind makes it feel colder than that.
The small paddleboat arrived around 10 past the hour, it dropped off about a half dozen people and let the three of us who were waiting on dock onboard. The inside had a rusted floor with benches along the sides. Apparently, there were more benches in the center of the boat at one point, but they were removed, possibly to make room for the three beaten up fare boxes. The bench wasn’t all that comfortable, but it didn’t matter since it was only a 10 minute ride across the river to High Street landing.
Portsmouth is a charming, quiet town that kind of reminded me of a cross between Federal Hill and Fells Point. Unfortunately for me, I was visiting on a Thursday morning so nearly everything was closed: The Naval Shipbuilding Museum (for refurbishment until “early 2017”), The Lightship Portsmouth (open weekends only), Virginia Sports Museum (permanently closed) and a half dozen “historic homes” (also open weekends only).
That left the Arts & Culture Center (which was “between exhibitions”), the Virginia Children’s Museum, the TCC (Tidewater Community College) Gallery and the exteriors of various buildings. Oh, and I could purchase cheap looking, neon colored t-shirts at the visitor’s center which is coincidentally where I had to go anyway to get the ferry back to Norfolk – and it was only 12:30 (it would have been noon if I hadn’t stopped for lunch at Jimmy Johns on High Street).
I arrived back at downtown Norfolk around 1:25 where it was a balmy 69 degrees with partly cloudy skies, and I was nowhere near ready to pack it in for the day so I walked over to Nauticus (though most of the parks were closed off due to construction of the various tents for next week’s Harborfest). I walked up the ticket counter and the somewhat disinterested cashier sold me a normal base ticket for $15 (included a movie and a limited tour of the attached battleship). I couldn’t decide if I wanted a snack or to just upstairs to see the exhibits on the 3rd floor first so I chose the latter.
The museum itself is hard to quantify. It has some exhibits that are geared towards kids (like the entry on port Norfolk, the touch a shark tank or the small “aquarium” area – which makes the former National Aquarium in DC look HUGE by comparison), but the majority of the labyrinthine museum space is ship life, Naval history, Naval recruiting and the nearby Naval base – not many of which would be of interest to the 3-12 set.
The exhibits are small, superficial and dated with broken or worn out “interactives” and little to no flow between the tightly packed exhibits – which you can’t really skip as there is only ONE path through the exhibit area (as I found out when one of the barely crowded rooms was too noisy for my tastes). The only place in the gallery that wasn’t claustrophobically small was the end where the theater, the NOAA exhibit and the stairway to the actual Hampton Roads Naval Museum\walkway to the USS Wisconsin (which were both on the second level). Though I didn’t partake in either this time as I fell asleep in the 3d movie and took that as a cue to head back to the hotel… at 3pm in the afternoon.
Not yet, first I stopped into their gift shop (my favorite part of their museum), and then I went into their café next door… but they were closed so I looked around thinking I might be able to take some snacks back to the room with me. Then a black man in black shirt hauling a large trash can behind him comes up behind me:
“Ya know,” he said. “We got a full menu.”
“Yeah, thanks, but it’s closed. There’s no-one back there.”
“What was that? I said look up there. We got a full menu up there,” he said pointing up to the large black and white sign hanging from the ceiling that I’d have to be blind to miss (I couldn’t read it with my crappy vision, but I couldn’t miss it when I came in).
“And it doesn’t do me any good if it’s CLOSED because there is NO-ONE back there.”
“’No-one back there?’ I work the café. I’D be the one ringing you up. Now, if you want to order something. Order it.”
With that said, I immediately turned around and decided to get dinner in the hotel and then get a start on my packing. It’s going to be another long day of traveling tomorrow – and my toes aren’t even remotely healed yet…