When you stop and think about it, I mean really sit down and spend some time with it, you are left shaking your head in disbelief. Even sitting here now typing these words, I can feel it coming back.
Sometimes it creeps in so silently, so seductively that I can easily be caught off guard. In fact, it did return while I was at work just the other day.
I work for A.C.Moore, a craft supply store. Similar to Michaels only better. I was putting stock out on the shelves. Interacting with customers as they pass by. A smile on my face as I run my utility knife down the center of the next box. Happily humming along to the Christmas music being piped in. Just routine stuff. But then, things took an unexpected left turn.
I was putting away table top style frames, right there B7. As I reached for the next carton, knife at the ready, I suddenly became rigid. Unable to move or speak. I guess that I must have looked like a statue. Left hand reaching down to get the box, my utility knife in my right hand. Bent over just a bit at the waist. My eyes were fixed and very dilated. Unable to move a muscle. My feet were firmly planted on the floor as though my shoes were nailed to it.
I could make out sounds that seemed to be coming from some of the people in the crowd. Their eyes were beckoning me to respond, but I could not. It was terrifying.
Sweat began forming on top of my bald cranium. Tiny drips tumbled into other tiny drips. Soon the tiny drips had formed a tiny river and it was running down the back of my neck. Oh how I wanted to wipe it off. More drips had collected to open yet another water way. This one ran full out down the slope of my nose and onto my lips and chin. My pulse and my heart were racing. The color was leaving my skin.
I continued to struggle to utter some sound that any of these people would recognize. But the puzzled look on their faces, and raised eyebrows, I think that I was speaking a very little known dialect from a tiny tribe in New Guinea.
I began to regain some level of control. Even if it was for only a few seconds. Then things began to become more clear to me. My internal message center had been sending out warnings that this situation might come up today. And because I did not listen to my voices and take some type of evasive action, it caused a system meltdown. As more and more feeling was returning to my still very taught torso, my washing machine brain was on the last spin cycle. When it was over, I slowly opened my eyes and gazed around at these early morning shoppers that had stood witness to the event. Speech returned to my silent mouth. I tried to tell them that I was okay and thanked them for staying with me. I got a couple of pats on the back, one person shook my hand and blessed me. Then the people gave me one last look, shrugged their shoulders, turned and went about their morning shopping.
I went to our break room and sat for a while. Trying to figure out what had happened to me. While it was certainly embarrassing to endure this breakdown in front of a crowd of people, I was glad that there was someone there to help me. What to I do if I am alone somewhere. Who's going to help me then? Who?
Later on that day, I was able to retrace my steps in an effort to discover the reason for my extremely weird behavior. In the back of my mind, which is like a gigantic warehouse, my instincts were telling me that this had something to do with, of all things, Couples. I had massive CR. But why? I had been humming Christmas music, not reggae. I thought I had been pretty focused. As focused as I can be for any extended period of time. What could have possibly set off this dizzying lightheaded reaction here in the frame aisle.
Remember when I said that it creeps in silently and that I must remain vigilant at all times? This was one of those times. As I stood there looking up and down the shelves of wooden and metal table top memory keepers, I saw a poster that was at the end of this aisle. The picture was in black & white, circa 1930. It was a scene on a beach. Only this beach was in New Jersey not Jamaica. How could this picture have set me off? I just stood there, shaking my head. I don't know why people do that, stand and shake their heads like that. But that's what I did too.
I think that I figured out where this CR slipped in under all detection points.
Opening cartons and putting the merchandise on the shelves, is pretty mindless work. As I continued to perform my tasks, my vision had been focused on that old black and white poster. My drifting subconscious mind had transposed the boardwalk of Atlantic City picture into a small cove on the coastline of Jamaica. This caused my Pavlovian response. A CR. I never saw this one coming. One minute I was putting away item 35474, 8"x10" pewter frame with raised floral design. The next moment, time stood still and so did I. I felt a great warmth envelope me and I could see the surf and the sun. Feel the wind and the sand. The feeling was divine. Sure sounds like a CR to me.
Okay. I have to confess. This incident described above never happened. It's just a figment of my free range imagination. However, I did have a CR at work, but I have gone a little overboard in describing it. But when you have had the experience of a Couples vacation, you are entitled to be a little extravagant and go overboard. It certainly won't cost any more, you are at Couples