It was a tight parallel parking spot, but doable. I still have some of my Chicago parallel parking skills, though they honestly are pretty rusty. So this had me slightly stressed. But there was more:
- I’m parking near the County Courthouse, so I can go to the sheriff’s office – cops, eek! I’ve had so many good experiences with cops over the years, including spending six months teaching stress management to every cop on the Syracuse, NY police department – and still I have a stress response to them. Actually I just a few years ago had a very bad experience with a sheriff’s deputy who was assigned to transport me from the Mission Hospital ER to the psych ward at Rutherfordton Hospital because there were no beds at Mission. This guy treated me like I as a criminal who needed to be watched and controlled at every moment. OK, so cops still set off alarm bells for me – there’s some trauma there that’s not healed yet.
- I was there to drop off all of Monty’s medication to the sheriff’s department – quite a lot of pill bottles.
Medication – I’ve been taking psych medications for about 15 years and they mostly have never helped. My current optimism about my new med’s is so unprecedented that I don’t know what to do with it. So here I have a big dishwashing tub full of meds. All these meds are stressful to me in and of itself – but they also speak to how fragile Monty\was in his last months.
- Monty is dead. That’s what this whole errand is about, is that my 35-year best friend died about four months ago. This is not a neutral errand.
And then there’s this guy.
This young guy is headed towards my car. I immediately go on the alert. If I knew how to put my psychic shields up, I would have. His shirt is only half-buttoned and he’s coming up to me fast. We’re right near the courthouse – what was he there for? He does what I feared he would do – he comes right up to my car.
I do what my instincts tell me not to do – I roll down my car window. He says, “My car is two spots up ahead here.” (He wants a jump – or for me to take him for gas.) “I’m pulling out and there’s about two quarters left on my meter, if you want to park there.”
So what do I do with this? This guy who I was sure was trouble actually comes to me with a gift – an act of well-wishing that I would not likely think of if the roles were reversed. The trouble was not in the guy but in my own suspicious mind.