I’m not the most logical of people. I usually spend my mornings deciding to do something outrageous, like go to grad school in Korea or buy a kitten, and the rest of the day realizing that’s not a good idea. Kevin has come to expect emails from me with the subject “today’s harebrained scheme,” in which I suggest wildly that we use the upcoming weekend to drive Highway 101 or that we get married at a supremely expensive resort in the San Juans, after which we honeymoon in Morocco and India. He will politely and cautiously say that it could be fun, and wait for me to lose interest. Usually it works.
This illogic…ness…ism also manifests itself in some anxiety. I’ve been known to lie awake debating the best route to safety when zombies or the Cloverfield monster attacks. I will analyze aches to make sure I don’t have some obscure cancer or a vitamin deficiency.
This tendency came to light most recently on the four-hour drive back to Salem. About twenty minutes in, I felt a tickle on my neck and brushed it away, assuming it was hair escaping from my ponytail. This happened a couple more times, until I gradually concluded that it was not hair and that I must obviously have some pinched nerve, resulting in a phantom tickle on a specific part of my skin. Obviously this would be a sign of some larger medical problem, and I’d have to change my diet and switch medication and visit faith healers in order to recuperate. Either that or live with phantom tickles for the rest of my life. I would have to do some medical research when I got home to see what my treatment options would be.
Then the very tiny logical part of me, which usually saves its energy for fights it knows it can win, suggested that maybe there was something on me causing this tickle. The rest of me grudgingly accepted that this was a possibility.
So the next time it happened, I enlisted Kevin. “Can you see anything on my neck that might be resulting in a tickle? I’ve been feeling something…pretty much since we started driving…”
By now the tickle was very definitely moving towards my hairline and I resisted panic admirably. He squinted, then reached for a tissue and deftly snatched something off me. “It was a spider.”
“Yeah. It was white.”
“White?! I saw a white spider on my side window the other day! Urhghghgh. They’re in my car.”
“But hey, we handled that pretty well. Nerves of steel. Especially me.”
Needless to say I spent the next half-hour scrubbing the side of my neck to get all the gross scaly spiderfeet off. And after a while I decided that it was nice to not actually have an obscure nervous disorder.