Wednesday, January 30, 2019

My brain's happy place.

Apparently I have a Sherlockian happy place.

Let me tell you about last night, to set things up. Polar vortex blowing in, which so many of us now have stories of, and here in Peoria, being treated more "kindly" than Minneapolis or Chicago, were expecting twenty below with fifty below wind chills by morning. And the icy winds were blowing in.

The good Carter and I battened the hatches, made all necessary prep, and sat down to watch a little TV and the latest adventure of Sherloque Wells. (A.K.A. CW's The Flash series this season.) When Sherloque was done, we settled into a movie, the latest Ghostbusters, which we'd both seen and enjoyed, when . . . BLOOP! . . . all the power goes out. Somewhere in the distance, something has gone wrong for about forty-seven homes, in a strip running through our neighborhood.

We're sitting in the dark, our furnace shut horribly silent, and checking with the power company to see what's up. Their robo-phone line says "A crew has been dispatched, estimated time for power to be restored, two hours." Two hours. Fine.

We play Quiddler, we have a ukelele concert, I read aloud from John Kendrick Bangs plays.

At the end of those two hours, our robo-friend says "Service has been delayed. The issue is line damage." I'm making good progress at reading Lyndsay Faye's Paragon Hotel by battery-powered lamplight, and it's distracting me pretty well.

But at the end of another two hours, robo-lady repeats the same message. And as we pass the midnight hour, it seems like a good time to try to get maybe a little rest. But the uncertainty of what's in the future of our pipes and plaster haunts me, just as the winds whistles and moans outside and the 1930s vintage house makes the old wood creaks of a sailing ship. Rest just isn't going to come.

And by the time the two a.m. hour hits, I'm really stressing. When those brave souls who tend the lines suddenly finish their work at around 2:15, the power returns, the furnace starts warming us back up, but I cannot sleep for over an hour yet . . . and the building insecurity of the past six hours has taken its toll and I just can't relax. Until about an hour and change later, I finally drift off.

Now, the human brain can be a marvelous thing sometimes. It can give us all sort of obsessive-compulsive hang-ups, anxieties we can't get past, etc., but occasionally it can just give a person exactly what they need at a given moment. When I woke up today, all the stress was not only gone, but I felt as warm and secure as could be. And much of that, I attribute to my brain finding a happy place for me while I slept.

Where was that happy place?

Well, before I awoke I was dreaming of being at the final wrap-up panel of another 221B Con, where everyone had lovely couches to sit on instead of the usual hotel chairs. The team that runs the Con was talking about how well the con had went this year, and all was just as right with the world as right could be.

As I've written many times in this blog, 221B Con is a joyful, accepting place. Those traditional Sherlockians I've found who didn't enjoy it usually aren't accepting it for being what it is, not the other way around. No matter how "fish out of water" a situation I've walked into at 221B Con, whether an Omegaverse panel or a wedding reception for Sherlock and John dolls, I've never felt unwelcome. Lacking in social skills, maybe. Not being up on some new corner of Sherlockian culture, occasionally. But never unwelcome. Even just babbling about some silly thing to strangers on an elevator, 221B Con has always felt like the kind of thing you'd expect the true Good Place to be like: A happy enclave of diverse strangers who, by the end of the weekend, feel like cousins.

So where did my brain put me, when it needed a dream of comfort and warmth? 221B Con. Which is apparently my mind palace's current happy place. And I'm good with that. Especially since April is not all that far away.

1 comment:

  1. That is so nice to hear. That was similar to the experience I had at Sherlock Seattle, though I've a foot in both camps (and end up being a translator between the two, at times). Though... well. Exceptions prove the rule, and all that.

    Wish I could be there!