The window over the head of the bed (2nd row passenger) is where all the thermoregulation gathers. Two 12v DC Endless Breeze fans handle intake and exhaust. I twiddle the three power settings on each fan to conjure the flow that suits mood and circumstance. A 12v clip fan provides aim-able and oscillating flow. It's face follows me through van life on hot days. A tarp awning protects the fans and open window from rain. A magnetically fastened no-seeum screen filters insects and adrift nature.
I’ve always liked small spaces. As a kid, I read books under the bed, the small space keeping me safe from the overload of my corporeal reality while stories transported me to other realities. I hid in closets. I created pillow and blanket forts and set up house in tool sheds. I sought and created small spaces in a big world of sensory and social overwhelm.
I’ve long wanted to live in a camper. Before starting a family, my dream was to get a piece of undeveloped land and park an RV on it. A small, cozy space set amidst the social isolation of nature is my formula for coping.
Our aging minivan is the perfect platform to experiment with my sensory needs. I installed a solar panel, battery, and inverter and turned it into a mobile, off-grid sensory and social isolation habitat. It’s a rolling coping mechanism, an accessibility device, a sensory safe smial of Cavendish space. I call it the Silver Sarcophagus.
The Sarcophagus is equipped to boondock on public lands and hook up to facilities at state, national, and RV parks. Everywhere I go, my sensory coping space is with me. Everywhere I go, a lozenge of predictable comfort with a good mattress is here to help me endure.
Neuropathy, chronic pain, autistic burnout, and activist burnout have forced me into semi-retirement. I’m at the end of my career wondering what to do with myself once savings runs out. For now, I will abide in my wandering smial, seeking solace in a small space set amidst sprawling nature. From within, the energy for yet another reinvention might be mustered. The continuous fluid adaptation required to cope in a neurotypical world is exhausting. I’ll be in the Silver Sarcophagus marshaling my reserves.