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A hiding place

Posted: March 6, 2012 10:13 a.m.
Updated: March 7, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Life often becomes so hectic that an individual would like to hide. Walt Disney’s movie gave a hint with the lyrics “Everybody needs a laughing place to go, ho, ho.” If someone can have a laughing place, he certainly needs a hiding place when no laughter exists. Such a place is possible. All an individual needs is the ability to leave his body while still standing in line or facing a tirade of some sort. Of course, the individual must be able to reenter reality and have some gist of what has occurred there. I have long had a hiding place. As a teacher, it was invaluable during parent/teacher conferences, facing whining teenagers, sitting quietly during wasteful, boring staff meetings, and many other times. While in the hiding place, no pain, boredom, nervousness, or self exists, only a warm euphoria.

When in undergraduate school, I learned to utilize the hiding place one step further. During a lecture in education class, I was taking notes from the instructor, jotting thoughts for an assigned essay in another class, and making memos for “to do” things. The professor called on me and said, “Jean, you don’t know a word I said.” I assured him I did. He questioned, “What.” I then gave him an almost word for word recap. He smiled to the other members of the class and remarked, “Well, she is like one of the students you will encounter in your classes. She is exasperating but will make the highest grade.” Maintaining a sense of what is going on in several different directions is one of the demanding parts of using the hiding place without retribution.

During a procedure at the dentist’s, not my favorite place, I always employ the hiding place. It keeps me from wriggling or showing any sign of discomfort. Here, I did not have to keep up with conversation, so I went deep into my hiding place and was totally free from pain when the dentist, quite concerned, asked me if I were all right. I assured him I was, but having to answer put me back in the reality plane for the remainder of the procedure, much to my sorrow!

Perhaps the most amusing incident occurred when I had to wait for someone in a department store. I stood over to the side, and, since I was tired and bored, went into my hiding place. When a woman approached me, I knew I had no dealings with her, so I stayed where I was. Little did I expect her actions. She lifted the skirt of my dress above my waist and said to her companion, “Now this is the type dress I am seeking.” I do not know who was more surprised -- I when I returned from hiding and moved, or she when what she thought was a manikin moved.

I rarely am in pain, frightened, or bored. I just go to my hiding place and emerge only when the problem disappears or more exciting events occur.


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