Boston, Part Two

by dpreyde

We were going to walk to Harvard yesterday, explore the campus, and see a museum. The weather called for rain during the afternoon, but I figured as long as we set out before noon, we’d be fine. We’d get to the campus and seek refuge indoors if things got a little damp.

Hannah and I were only slightly behind schedule. At precisely 12:09, the rain started.

“We can still do this,” said Hannah.

We walked two blocks. The rain pounded down, and we were both immediately soaked.

“There’s no way we can do this,” I said.

We went back to the hotel and assessed our options.

“I vote for suicide,” I said.

I have a serious problem with rain, due to my sensitivities to touch and temperature. My brain perceives rain as an attack, and goes into fight or flight mode. But you can’t fight or flee something that’s surrounding you. So when faced with rain I eventually shut down completely. Up until that point, I’m just sad and angry.

“We can go to the Museum of Science,” said Hannah. “See if it’s any good. It’s close to here, isn’t it?”

I nodded.

“We can go there for a few hours and then maybe grab lunch somewhere. Maybe the rain will have cleared up by then, and we can go to Harvard.”

We ventured out into the rain, and my God, it was miserable. I trudged along the sidewalk, head down, barely looking at where I was going.

We found the museum and bought tickets. Upon surveying the map we realized that this was an enormous motherfucking museum. Architecturally it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. There are three wings which for the most part are separate buildings; they’re only occasionally connected to each other. Considering that, the museum is surprisingly easy to navigate.

There’s so much to do and see. It’s an overwhelming surplus of stuff. Hannah and I wandered around for five or six hours, and I don’t think we even saw everything.

I ended up dizzy and overloaded, but unsure as to why I was feeling this way. Was I hungry? Tired? Sensorily overwhelmed? Some combination of the three? My head wasn’t working so well due to whatever was causing my head to not work so well, so I had a hard time figuring out why my head wasn’t working so well, and what I should do to make it work better.

We waded back to our hotel room through the driving rain. I was a mess. I was involuntarily spacing out- which isn’t good- and my affect had gone flat, which is a huge red flag. That’s one of the last things to go before I become completely nonfunctional.

“Are you feeling okay?” asked Hannah.

“I am on the precipice of a profound multisensory collapse,” I said.

Which must have been really reassuring for her to hear, because I had to help her go to the bathroom.

We sat around for awhile not doing much of anything, which gave me time to recharge.

Then we decided to set out for The Cheesecake Factory, which might be the ultimate expression of American cuisine. We’d already had cheesecake from there the night before, but we wanted a full meal.

And more cheesecake.

I had noticed from our window that it was still raining heavily outside. Heading down to the lobby, Hannah looked at me and said, “You look like we’re heading to your mother’s funeral.”

Walking to the restaurant wasn’t as bad as walking to the museum, because our route was more protected. We crossed through a tunnel as well as several overhangs.

The restaurant was too crowded- they usually are- but the food was fantastic. We ate so much we became physically uncomfortable, and somehow managed to waddle our way back to the hotel.

Then we passed into a food coma.

Today thankfully there is no rain forecasted. Today we will go to Harvard. We will see a museum. We will see beautiful buildings.

We will be dry.