It’s been an interesting week. I made it to Denver on Monday, and returned on Wednesday. It was a productive trip in terms of getting things ready for my move. I even went on a short run with a representative from a local running club. I felt the difference when running in a higher altitude. It’ll take some time to adjust once I move. I ended up getting dehydrated from the trip. The combination of flying, running, and not hydrating enough for the circumstances landed me in the ER twice since I’ve been home. The first time, they gave me IV fluids and something for altitude sickness. The second time, more IV fluids, a brain scan, and a potassium drip. The potassium burns going in, so that sucked.
I felt much better afterward, and the burning stopped when the drip stopped. I learned that the hybrid weed strain continues to eliminate my anxiety. I also learned that aside from highly stressful events, I probably won’t be using it on a regular basis. At least not initially. This is due to the fact that it lowers inhibitions. My therapist agrees that it makes me more vulnerable, and although she could see a positive difference when we did a video chat online, I don’t think she felt the benefits outweighed the potential dangers I could face when using it alone. So now I’ll only use weed when I’m around someone I trust well enough to tell me off if I start making poor decisions.
While I didn’t put myself in a compromising situation, I did do silly things that I doubt I would have done otherwise. Like ordering room service, taking a photo of the food, then forgetting to eat it. It was so odd to have food sitting on the table with me across the room, not guarding it from my furry little predator. It made me laugh to think how I must look at home, constantly scanning for a flying furball coming in low for a dash-n-grab off my plate. My cat is slightly less coordinated than most cats. So her dash-n-grabs almost always result in the entire plate crashing to the floor. But she looks so focused and determined that it’s impossible to do anything but laugh.
Sometimes, I’ll catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye, and I know she’s scouting. I start laughing then, which probably encourages her, but I just can’t help it. It’s so funny to watch her little butt wiggle back and forth while she does kitty physics in her head before springing. I’m feeling a lot better now, but I’m a bit sore from dragging my R2D2 suitcase around the Denver airport. I’m mixed race, which is almost never an issue. I’m African American. It’s obvious to anyone who doesn’t work for TSA, apparently. They seemingly choose to see the slight resemblance to a woman of Middle Eastern descent. I don’t wear a burka. I wear jeans and a t-shirt like it’s a uniform. I almost always wear headphones and sunglasses. I walk like a soldier, and I probably act like one, always taking in the details. Okay, I’m starting to see why TSA profiles me. Nevermind.
So anyway, the first time I went through TSA security, I forgot to retrieve my laptop from the tray. I left security, got on the train, and then walked the remaining distance to my gate. I sat down, and pulled out my iPad. I started playing a puzzle game, and then I remembered I have this game on my laptop. I reach for it, and OMG, it’s not there!! I begin to panic, and collect my things. I walk over to the nearest TSA official, and tell her I forgot my laptop in security. She asks me what time my plane leaves, and I inform her. She sends me back to security to see if it was turned in. I drag R2D2 back to security, only moving more quickly this time. I should note that I arrived at the airport 3 hours before my flight was due to leave, as requested by my airline.
I finally get back to security, and am informed that I have to go through security again. Huge eyeroll as the lines are much longer than when I went through before. As I’m slowly walking through the maze of lines, I finally reach the front, and an adorable puppy on a leash comes by, sniffing all the suitcases. It couldn’t have been more than 6 months old! A chocolate labrador, probably mixed with something. It took everything I had to refrain from laying down next to that dog and convincing it that playing with me is far more fun than sniffing for um… Bombs… (Because that’s what TSA is doing in Denver, wink wink).
Then when R2D2 slides through the machine, the guy watching the scanner scrutinizes me… Oops, I mean my bag. I looked right at him, and rolled my eyes. He pulled R2D2 out and slid him down the WRONG lane. I sighed audibly. He was flagging me for a search and grope. Fucker. So some really cute black dude went through my stuff, including wiping down my drivers’ license to check for some sort of residue. But that was nothing compared to the pat down I got from the TSA woman. She used the backs of her hands against me, but that didn’t make it any less invasive. I kind of feel like I should call her.
I did finally get my laptop back. I was so grateful, and the TSA official who handed it to me laughed at my happy dance. I had already begun preparing myself not to cry in case they couldn’t find it so I was ecstatic. I made it back to my gate in plenty of time to board my plane home. And to think I bitched and moaned about having to show up 3 hours early to clear TSA. But yeah… It sucks being profiled. I suspect being Autistic makes me appear a bit shady to security types, too. If I didn’t get carsick so easily, I’d probably still fly because I love the taking off part, and it’s so much quicker than driving.
I missed my cat while I was away. She was in her new hiding spot when I got back. She squeaked at me for the first hour. Then she glued herself to me for a bit. But I must have done something loud, because she retreated back to her hiding spot for several hours. I finally coaxed her out and carried her around for a while, cooing at her. She hugs back when you carry her over your shoulder. It’s so adorable. She forgave me after that, but it really tugged at my heart. I wanted to tell her I’d never do this again, but I will be doing this as much as monthly until I move. I’m starting to think I’ll move out of sheer exasperation over travelling back and forth. But nah, I know me. I’ll turn my focus to becoming the Ultimate Packing Ninja, and figure out how to pack for a week’s stay in a single backpack. Challenge accepted.