Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Sounds From My Window

Imagine that you're toodling along, you got up early for work and you're driving your beater 80's gas guzzling mobile because you can't yet afford to upgrade to the Saturn Vue you have in mind. Fair enough, you working slob, you're doing the right thing, dreaming the dream, putting in those early morning hours and schlepping along, but this morning--dang!--it's a little slippery, and the old beater gets a little frisky in the hind end and round she goes! And you can feel it all happen in slow motion, the effortless gliding across the icy road, the emphatic schlump! as the car crests the graded snow and settles into the ditch, now facing the other way, like the car has taken you in hand and said, NO! You DON'T need to keeping working for the man; let's go back to bed. It's not even six a.m!

But you're not convinced, even though you sense the beater's now resting in a snowy bed too comfortable to leave. You assess the situation--the ditch ahead seems no more full of snow than where you sit. You'll drive thataway, turn the wheel at just the right moment, but progress seems a little slow, so you gun that sucker. Gun it! You make it two feet forward, which is progress, so you flip it in reverse. Gun it back! It's four feet of tracks in the snow, a little snowy lane for you and your beater, but with no exit, so you gas it forward and try turning the wheel, but damn! It won't leave the track. Maybe going back and forth this way with the engine at full revs for half an hour, snow flying, then dirt flying, then cussing and gunning and the ditch getting a firmer and firmer hold on your transportation while you lose more and more of your patience and time keeps slipping away, and now you're late for work, your car is in the ditch, and you don't even have a coat to wear cause why would you need one; you're only going to work?

So, an hour after your car got frisky and you took a sled ride into the ditch, you're on the phone with a tow truck guy you can't afford and you're wondering about that noise the car was making toward the harried end of your attempt to get it out of the ditch by mashing the gas pedal to the floor time and time again as you shifted from forward to reverse and back again. Was that screechy noise the alternator or the transmission?

Even though much of it was on display outside my bedroom window, ruining the serenity of the morning, I knew my day was off to a better start than his. I've been there; it ain't fun.

1 comment:

Holli said...

I've been fooled! You and your sneaky writing techniques.