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As is true of much of my work, “Sensitive” is based in non-fiction. Rhonda (not her real name) is a friend who suffers from heightened sensitivity to many, mostly manufactured items. She was forced to quit her job when her employer did an extensive renovation of their building, effectively flooding the workplace  with chemical contaminants. Think: carpet outgassing. Most of us are familiar with that and have been mildly repulsed by that smell, but imagine if it put your body into a sort of shock. Rhonda reminds us that sufferers of heightened sensitivity are like those who suffer from mental illness or other invisible diseases—most people don’t recognize their affliction and are not always very interested in understanding their affliction, and not very sympathetic. Dabbing on a little cologne before going to the theater? You may cause other theater goers great suffering, or make them unable to attend at all.  

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