20 March 2009

Keep the car running

Last night, I got something akin to real sleep (meaning I went to bed before midnight, fell asleep and stayed asleep, all of which is a sad rarity in my life, especially in the last few months), and rose at my usual crack of dawn almost awake. I had a fairly full day planned, which involved the most boring bits of life that I don't usually talk about. Things like grocery shopping.

So at 8:30, buttressed by two cups of coffee, I got into my car.

It didn't start.

I'm not exactly at the place where I can continue to go along quietly with being thwarted.

It's a small thing. I know it is. I know the battery just needs to be recharged.

But all the small things have added up. That's when I turn into a nitro-burning rush of trouble.

I have to make the trip up to Pasadena, Center of the Universe, tomorrow to check in on the in-laws. This involves lunch at a restaurant, what amounts to a welfare check, and some more prodding about getting them into a gerontology program, after which, I go to their house and fix the computers. It is very difficult to watch people you've known for so long as strong and vital individuals suddenly catch old. Before my eyes they are becoming frail and unreliable, easily confused and combative as a result. I would say they are like children, but they still drive cars and they have credit cards. This makes them dangerous, mostly to themselves. And then I get provocative emails like the one I received this morning that said, "I have to go to the dermatologist to get the stitches out of my neck," while I'm left shrieking, "WHAT stitches?"

Four hours judging the science fair Wednesday morning, smiling and nodding at middle school children who spent a week pouring energy drinks on flower seeds.

I go to mow the lawn, have it done before the weekend, when it is supposed to rain. There is no gas in the mower, none in the gas can. The nearest gas station is miles away and I haven't got a car. I know how to siphon, but haven't got a hose.

I had a small window of escape. I missed it, and it closed. It's going to be closed for awhile. I know what I want, and at present, it's out of my reach. I know what I need, but I have to be patient. I know I am my own worst enemy.

Go listen to some good music: "Keep the Car Running" from the album Neon Bible by Arcade Fire. I cannot stand the sound of my own complaining. I'm generally good at being stoic, but enough already! I am incredibly bored, which does not mean I haven't anything to do.

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