I’m still waiting for my brain to reboot. I didn’t expect it to have so much trouble with today. Yeah sure, I would meet people I didn’t know and people I knew only online and people I thought I might be a little starstruck by, and I would have to figure out what I was supposed to do without instructions and all that but hey, I made it to Omsk and back without a map. How bad could a little media day be?
You go through the “holy shit, what do I wear? Have I developed any new facial tics? Do I even have makeup the right color anymore?” You practice speaking in an audible tone and pronouncing your syllables like a normal person instead of the habitual mumbler you are. You tell yourself life is tedious without risk, you run through some mantras and say “this is going to be fine, I can do this.” You listen to some Lady Gaga on the road. You are fearless and awesome and maybe you won’t actually burst into tears and faint for no reason anyone else can discern.
You might not expect to feel like you just broke into a bank and are surrounded by a laser security system criss crossing the floor. That’s why you forgot to bring your aerosol spray can or your laser-seeing goggles. You listen to a radio report about rats in food processing plants and you don’t think about how the rat feels when everyone is screaming about how it got in where it doesn’t belong.
Well, the rat is freaking out like you cannot imagine, long before anyone screams or even notices it. Even if it is just sitting there, twitching its nose at you, blinking its beady eyes, it is thinking PLEASE IN THE NAME OF RATATOUILLE THERE HAS TO BE A LITTLE HOLE FOR ME TO CRAWL INTO BEFORE SOMEONE STEPS ON ME!
You don’t find any of that out until you land in an NHL dressing room without having any idea that is where you were headed.
To be fair, I was in nervous rat mode long before I wound up there, so it is perfectly possible that someone did mention “now we will go to the dressing room where you are supposed to ask people questions and make note of the answers.” They might have said that but part of the rat freaking out is going deaf to instructions.
The first impulse is to turn and run back out, but to do that you would have to push a whole bunch of people including half a hockey team out of the way. That would make a scene, a proper spectacle. That would not do. Also, you might lose your human being costume in the process, and be exposed for the filthy rodent you are.
I have to pause to consider what might happen to a rat trying to run around a bunch of people wearing ice skates. Grisly.
What’s there to freak out about? I DO NOT KNOW. I think I might have social phobias they don’t even have names for yet. I really need direction, or like a badly trained Labrador I will end up chewing on your shoes and upending the garbage can. That’s how it feels anyway.
Running through my fractured memories of the day, I can put my finger on about three things I did that were probably completely awful unforgivable wrong stupid and eviction-worthy.
Also little things like I laughed too readily during the waiting around tween times, and probably too loudly (you know, maybe I did, maybe I didn’t, but you always feel like it was wrong and too loud when you’re a rat), and I left when maybe I should not have, and of course could not find my way out (what do you think the rat is doing when it scurries back and forth? It probably followed someone else in or used a sat nav, it can’t remember how it got there…)
I did learn where the doors relevant to me are. I learned that my phone can record stuff and my laptop has a killer battery.
I think I really do need to cut back on the coffee. Sedation might be in order.
I still haven’t decided if I want to try and do this again or just crawl back under my rock as soon as I can find it. I feel a little bit like someone moved my rock, or smashed it to little bitty pieces. I do know that there are chores to do, no matter what I decide about tomorrow. I should do them. And then go find some NyQuil.