That is Illogical, Captain
Now and then, I’m at a loss to explain what might be behind what I observe, when it comes down to the human element. It’s not just the verbal and nonverbal messages during conversations that are considered to clarify the message, the ones that are almost certainly there but are imperceptible in my realm. You know, things you’re supposed to be able to pick up on, read into, decipher, and signal back, in so many words and gestures. The lack of ability to sense and deal with them can be intensely awkward at times. When a conversation stops making sense or begins to become peppered with contradictions, that’s when I have the feeling that there’s something hidden going on that’s not showing up on my radar.
One might reasonably think that continued experience in dealing with such things would be the cure. You know, learning and adapting! That’s simple enough, right? Trouble is, the internal wiring devoted to sifting through nonverbal and/or inaccurate verbal messages is not ailing or handicapped. It’s just not there. There’s nothing to train. Things that made no sense decades ago are just as much of a puzzle today, and explanations by well-meaning people to help me decode situations often make things appear even more unfathomable. That’s Asperger’s Syndrome for you, the one that the medicos recently removed from the diagnosis books in order to assign it as a high-function version of Autism. That doesn’t do much of anything for you, but they feel that it helps them in their drive to categorize and catalog everything so they can sound more confident, so there you go. Sometimes, I feel like Spock sitting in the audience at a comedy club. He hears and sees all of it, same as anyone else, and yet “gets” none of it.
So… I’m parked in the oldest camping section in the Chain o’ Lakes State Park. During weekdays, ain’t hardly anybody here. Right now, there’s not another soul in my row. Weekends are another story. It’s jammed then. That’s okay. Gravel drives are laid out, and you’re required to stick to the drives. Gravel drives, or in my case, vestiges of them. That’s okay, too. But the quirk of this older section is that these drives tend to be laid out closely together, so that each pair of drives is within reach of the shared electrical boxes. Campfires are allowed only in cast iron boxes set on concrete pads, and each site has one, somewhere, and everyone has a picnic table that can be dragged around as needed.
This can produce a non-optimal situation here and there if you live inside your rig instead of tenting beside it. As for me, I’ve got oodles of space on one side, while the next campsite on the other side is sleeved in pretty close.
I awoke late Saturday morning with wood smoke visibly wafting in through the Intrepid’s generous side windows, which need to be kept wide open in order to survive the 90-degree daytime temperatures. My neighbors, visiting from Peoria, were sitting around their pre-positioned campfire made with purchased wood, enjoying it’s warmth. They were not surprised to see me appear to figure out what was going on, and apologized for the smoke. I was a bit surprised though, as my thermometer read 80 degrees and rising. Fortunately, although the wind was changing directions on a whim, backing the Intrepid up (as shown in the photo above) pretty much solved the problem. Thing is, the day’s high was predicted to be 93, and there had been no overnight chill to break, unless you count 70 degrees as uncomfortably chilly. No coffee pot, no cast iron pan with breakfast cooking. The grill section remained up and out of the way.
Now, non-adept at people skills as I am, even I knew that simply asking why they were huddled around a campfire in climbing 80-degree weather would be inherently insulting, no matter how benignly-worded. But I did think to myself in a very Spock-like voice, “Hmmm, fascinating!” I was stumped. Still am. But it’s a memory that will stick with me for awhile, as I’m convinced that there is some esoteric example or lesson in there someplace. Okay, maybe not.