Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Series of Disappointments

I love sameness! I love routine, and I love my Red Bull Cola. If you have followed my blog since the beginning you will know that I have, in a way, made the Petro truck stop in Kingdom City, Missouri somewhat famous as this is what I get my Red Bull Cola.

Yesterday I gave my presentation in the parent training class and then it was time to hit the road. I look forward to these road trips and it had been several months since I made my way west so I was counting down the miles as they flew by until I got to Kingdom City.

The drive was eventful as a couple semi-trucks wanted to give me a scare. The winds were quite gusty and I am actually surprised the truck that ran me into the grass on the on ramp didn't turn out to be worse.

Once I arrived in Kingdom City I found my normal parking spot and headed inside. Quickly I noticed that they changed the lay out of the store. This was fine by me and I went into the arcade to play one game of pinball that lasted an uncharacteristically short amount of time.

After the discouraging pinball game I walked to the drink section to locate my Red Bull Cola. Each time since March I stopped I would buy more and more. First time by I bought 2, then 4, and last time I think I bought $20 worth. I was prepared to buy more and as I was calculating the price I froze in my tracks.

"Where is it" I said aloud to no one. "WHERE IS IT!" screamed aloud in my brain. I paced back to the left; nothing! Back to the right; no luck. I then slowed my pace down as I began to comprehend that this store no longer carries Red Bull Cola.

WHY?! I began to walk around the store aimlessly trying to figure out what to do. I came in to buy Red Bull Cola and now it wasn't there.

I was a bit angry, a bit confused, and highly frustrated. On top of all that I was saddened that this relationship I have had with that town and that store would be coming to an end. For me stopping to get the drink was more than the drink as I started getting the drink the same time I started at TouchPoint. I know I have had at least five mentions of the truck stop on here, but now I have no reason to stop there because nothing sets it apart. In a way it was like losing a friend.

After several minutes of aimless walking I bought a pack of gum (I had to buy something as I was in the store) and I proceeded back to my car and started the final leg of my trip to Columbia.

As if the insult to my system wasn't already bad enough I had another experience once I arrived.

I had not had dinner yet so after I checked in I walked across the street to a place I discovered back in June when the staff of the TouchPoint Columbia office took me there.

I walked into the store, still somewhat reeling from the Red Bull Cola disaster, and instantly found it hard to concentrate due to the volume of the music that was playing. It was truly distracting and I haven't had this happen in a while, but while ordering I rediscovered my defense mechanism when in a loud environment.

To say, "what?" or to say, "could you say that again? is something I struggle with. While I was ordering I was asked many questions, but I was unable to understand the person. Granted anyone would have issues if it were noisy, but it wasn't that loud, but coupled with the other events of the day, well, I was answering questions that I didn't know the meaning to.

The end result of my answering was some weird seasoning and some weird dressing and it wasn't that bad, but the thing that was disappointing was the realization that I struggle in that type of environment. You see, while driving down the road there is no difference between a normal person and myself. I don't have a constant mindset of, "I am on the autism spectrum..." However, when I get put into a noisy place like that the truth becomes apparent and I think, "Wow, I am on the spectrum".

So that was my disappointing day. In the grand scheme of things I do know that those two events are minor compared to what else could happen, but still I thought I would share it. Later this morning I will be on panel and then I will be headed back home. Should be a good day and hopefully I avoid any disappointments. Well, maybe Petro will have Red Bull Cola today. Maybe?

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