Flat Tires

There are specific times in my life when I’m extremely grateful that I have thumbs. Tonight was one of those times. I was sitting at Starbucks watching this bug that looked way too much like part of a bush attempt to climb up the outside of the window, using what appeared to be its mouth. In that moment, I was very glad to not be that bug.

This has been an interesting week to say the least. I almost don’t know how to explain it, because I want to be poetic (doesn’t every writer?) but my week was less poetic and more like a giant car crash. Only, luckily, not a literal car crash. However, I did wake up Thursday morning to a car with a flat tire. I ended up not being able to figure out my jack and just sat on the sidewalk waiting until someone would see how pathetic I was and come help me. Of course, everyone was in a hurry to get to work, either that or they really didn’t care to help me (I guess not every has read the story about the good Samaritan). After getting a ride to and from work, I ended up changing my tire (all by myself, with the help of my dad over the phone) at nine o’clock at night. In the dark. All alone. Two people walked by, and even though one asked how I was doing, neither of them offered to help. I got it changed and afterward, I was feeling pretty awesome about myself. Then I went inside the house I’m staying in, realized that I’m just alone and no one really cares that I can change a tire by myself.

I’ve spent most of my week working my life away. So even though it is summer, I am not taking advantage of all the natural vitamin D. Instead, I am basically taking up residence in my cubicle. Which really isn’t so bad, because I enjoy working with the people I work with and I eat a Brown Sugar Cinnamon pop tart every morning at ten, so I always have something to look forward to.

This morning I had to take my tire in to get fixed. I went to two places that looked at my tire, told me it was unfixable, and then told me that they didn’t have my size tire. I ended up feeling defeated so I just went to Wal-Mart. However, I was even more frustrated there because there was no clear sign as to where I was supposed to drive up or go. So, I just drove up to a place that looked like it should be the right place, got out of my car and said (perhaps rudely), “I need help.” A guy with a foot cast on hobbled over. I ended up telling him about how proud I was of myself for changing the tire all by myself and how I felt defeated because my tires are baby-sized and no one seems to have them on stock. I basically told him my entire life story. He didn’t care. He didn’t even seem to feel sorry for me. So they put a new tire on and it all worked out fine.

After work, I went to the Saturday evening service for the Church of the Resurrection. Part of the reason I enjoy going is because it is such a large church that I can just blend in and no one really notices me. So tonight I went in and sat down in the general area where I can blend best. Then a couple minutes later (after I had pretended to be really interested in what the bulletin said), a husband and wife sat down. Right next to me. I remember learning once about how people (especially Americans) will naturally space themselves out around an area when sitting. This lady obviously didn’t know that was the case. Of course it wasn’t like she was rude, she was very nice. Her name was Jeanie or something and before I left she looked at me and told me that she hopes I have a good week. And I could tell she meant it.

I’ve been talking to a guy lately. I feel like he has been through a lot. His life is telling a story. It has gotten me to think about the story our lives tell. What kind of movie would our lives even make? When I was a little kid, I always would talk into mirrors as if I were narrating a TV show about my life. I remember that I would always have a new imaginary TV show each time I enter a new school year or new summer. One summer we bought two kickballs from Target (one bright blue and the other lime green) and they said “Fun in the Sun” on them. Since I was less than creative, that was the name of my imaginary TV show. I remember one evening when my entire family was playing outside (which is one of the last memories I have of growing up in a two-parent “normal” family) and I was swinging thinking about how that evening would make the perfect opening credits for the TV show. In my mind, a movie about my life would involve me sitting looking thoughtfully out of a window or a moving car. I am not sure what else would happen, but that’s how it would begin. It would begin with my looking longingly out at a world that is waiting for me to experience it so I have a story worth telling.

I want my story to be worth telling. I think about the relationships I have with people, how I am not very good at them. I think about how I am afraid of a ridiculously large amount of things (most of them are irrational fears that I make excuses for because I’m “just being careful”). I think life should be about spending time with people and making mistakes and learning something from everything. I kind of want my funeral to be less than a service where people sit and listen but instead I want my funeral to be a large meal (preferably a pot luck, preferably someone brings Potato Salad from Oklahoma Joe’s) where everyone sits around and tells stories about my life or life in general. I also want everyone to be happy, because I want everyone to know that I lived a good life and my life told a good story. I also want everyone to wear yellow. Don’t question it.


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