following essay was produced as part of my 2013 effort for the
November National Novel Writing Month effort. As such, please
understand that while I did give it a quick review, it has not
gone through the same proofreading and editing I normally try
to give all of the material posted on this site.
always make some mistakes. There are errors to be found throughout
this web site, and many exist despite dozens of attempts to correct
problems. That said, ask that you approach this material in the
spirit intended – a basic thought, slightly worked out and very
informally researched, delivered in the hopes of writing more
than 50,000 words by the end of November.
~ ~ ~
I try to get moving this morning, the world seems stacked against
wants to go out… Gus most certainly does not.
windy and cold and rainy outside, and I need to get some things
settled quickly so that I can head in to work.
the highway… which represents the first half of my journey… I
notice that the lights seem to be dimming in the car.
a strange thing to try and explain. Daylight is clearly around…
but with the rain falling, I do have my headlights on. And while
I can’t prove it, it sure seems like the numbers on the radio
and the areas of the dashboard are getting dimmer and darker.
wipers seem to be slowing as well.
airbag light and brake light and battery light come on… and then
second half of my journey to work involves some back roads. And
my hope has become simple… get to work. That’s kind of a stabilizing
idea. Being at work does nothing for me and my ultimate problem.
It’s in exactly the opposite direction of the service station
we use for our automotive needs. But it will be dry and warm and
there is food there. (You know… pretty much the exact opposite
of a rainy day on a back road in the middle of nowhere once the
battery and electrical systems of your car go kaput.)
shorter version of the story is kaput the electrical systems went.
Tow truck… wife called to pick me up… late for work for the very
first time (after more than two decades there… and honestly, I
can’t recall ever being late for work at any time before).
a lovely day.
honestly… isn’t every day?
all face our challenges, whether big or small. Granted, being
stranded on the side of a road on a rainy day is slightly more
aggravating a challenge than deciding what to order for lunch
during a visit to the Magic Kingdom. (You know… sure… just slightly.)
And, being stranded on the side of the road in 2013, with a cell
phone that is fully charged and has some games installed… makes
things significantly easier than being stranded on a rainy day
four or five miles from anything in, say, 1994, with a long and
wet and annoying walk developing for the near future.
thing is… I’m not trying to write some inspirational piece here.
This isn’t about overcoming obstacles… it isn’t a competition
to see what makes the absolute worst day possible… and it isn’t
about recognizing the sweet from the sour, or some mishmash of
this is just about how plans go haywire.
day… my to do list… my schedule… my whatever… did not include
phone calls to AAA or a service station when it was originally
set out before me as a plan. It didn’t include shoes covered in
mud from walking around to raise the hood of a car that have come
to a stop in the dirt on the side of a road. It didn’t include
a “please come and get me” request.
yet, as we know, the sun rose on Wednesday. And, as I finish this
rough draft up, the sun has set and Thursday is looming.
plans for a weekend have been adjusted to include checking on
that car as it goes through some likely repairs. And some of the
free time that had been tentatively looked at for writing will
now be used for some other odds and ends.
sure what any of that means.
can tell you this though.
certainly does seem like things multiply.
I wake up in the morning, run around a bit, and end up with my
feet freezing… well… they never get warm. At all.
a slight exaggeration, but the point is simple. Once I’m off balance
in the morning, nothing feels quite right that entire day.
know those people that claim they don’t wake up until after the
first cup of coffee? Similar concept.)
something isn’t right, everything can feel wrong.
naturally… my suit felt damp… and I felt rushed since I needed
to call my wife for a ride home, and wanted everything done for
the day and in place so my “I’m ready” phone call would be accurate
and I would actually be ready.
fell into the appropriate places for the day. Nothing felt right.
Everything was off. Even long after I had confirmed the car was
at the shop, and my work day was back on track so everything would
get done, and my socks had dried out.
few months from now, this day will be in the rear view mirror.
It might be etched into some long lasting idea… the car from this
morning is older, and has over two hundred thousand miles on it.
Perhaps this is the first of a few things that need to be checked?
Maybe it will be back in a few days and ready to go for another
hundred thousand without much effort.
I’ll be faced with another sunset… and another sunrise. It’s that
fabled promise of a new day. Some things will go wrong… some things
will go right… and in the end, it’s another day to be enjoyed.
still just not sure what any of that means.