Time does weird things there. I walked in at 10:05 for my appointment at 10:15. There were two women sitting on benches reading books. Each was wrapped in a warm blanket and personified cozy. The older of the two met my eyes and smiled. She said nothing and neither did I. There was a peace that we chose not to break. It was different than my first visit where I’d spent a good half hour learning about the woman opposite me. We talked about everything except why we were there. Not this time though. It was a quiet day for the others, and so I was quiet too.
In a few minutes, the two women were directed to two rooms and a young couple showed up. I say couple only because they arrived together. Each held and read from a cell phone. They never looked up. They hardly moved at all. They just looked at their phones for what seemed like quite a while. Appointments, as with traditional doctors, can run a little late. I expected to be watching this couple and their devices for at least 45 minutes. While they held their phones, I held a rock and turned it again and again in my hands. The energy was peaceful, but when my mind started- in the rock was my safe harbor. It became warm in my hand, a friend, even a volley ball named Wilson. It said nothing, offered no words of encouragement, but it was there.
My appointment came, and I felt pretty good about holding a rock instead of a cell phone. You know that self-righteous feeling you get when you choose stevia over Splenda? It was sort of like that. I was taking charge of my well being. I was intuitively discerning what my body needed. That’s what I thought, until I learned that the rock I was holding was a bastard. Well, it wasn’t a bastard, it was attractive rather than protective. For a girl with boundary issues the rock was a mini-skirt – maybe even a tramp stamp above the mini-skirt. I can’t be too sure. I looked at the rock that I warmed so lovingly with my own body heat. You, I said. I didn’t continue, but the way I said it, the rock got the point.
I was given some clove oil in this little aroma therapy container that looks sort of like a lip gloss thingy. I should sniff it a lot, I was told. Sniff and sniff. Sniff until the whole thing goes up your nose and into your brain like a fragrant torpedo. At least that was my interpretation.
When I went to leave I got my phone out of my car’s glove compartment, and I couldn’t believe it! It was one o’clock! How the heck had I been there three hours? It didn’t make sense. I felt like I was Jody Foster in Contact, only I didn’t remember uttering, “I’m okay to go.” I went though. I went. Before starting the car, I put my aroma therapy lip gloss-looking sniff-a-ma-jig in the side pocket of professional looking satchel. But on the drive home, I thought maybe I should be sniffing now. I need to sniff. So I dug my hand in my bag and reached all around. Have to keep car in lane and have to smell clove oil this instant. Almost there, almost got it, come on. Finally, I yanked my hand out and accidentally shoved a tampon up to my nose. Every traffic light was green, so I kept reaching and praying for life not to throw a bird into the road like it had done the other day. It had come from the right and my left tired tore it apart in an instant. It was horrible. Should I bring it home and cook it, I wondered? Would that be better that way? Should I go fetch it and bury it with lavender and rosemary? I’m so sorry! Shit. I am so sorry.
At last, I got hold of my clove oil. I opened it and took a big whiff. It was like I was smelling the Christmas scene in Little Women, the part where Beth gets the piano. Every thing was okay again, and that’s when a light turned red at Victory and Bull.