Stuck in the middle of nowhere #24
It took over an hour to get home today. I sat still in traffic – bypassed the huge buildup – went way beyond my apartment and resentfully looped back. Actually, it took an hour and a half since I had to pick up a pineapple and some icecream at the grocery store. A local artist has a photography collection called “nowhere”. It has pictures of different highways in Toronto - pictures of tail lights and concrete that could be any city, labeled “nowhere #14”, “nowhere #27” etc. All of the "nowheres" are indistinguashable from each other so they are both nowhere and everywhere. It is also a comment on the empty landscape that us commuters spend so many hours with.
Bukowski said that the LA highways were full of people going from one place they hate to another they hate more. I am not sure if each driver has that intensity – but the idea certainly makes them look less purposeful. Going to a job and contributing a unique and expanding skill set to the GDP therefore making our way of life sustainable seems so responsible and full of well… utility… but maybe that is an empty word made up by Economists. Nine to five gives structure and a sense of unity with the other workers doing the same – but in other ways it nothing more than a frivolous ritual. In other words, why bother.
On Friday my car sounded like a Harley when I started it and it became weak when it went over 60 (km/hr). I dropped out of the commuter lifestyle for the day and went to the dealer. I gasped when I saw the price, mentally deleting all of my non-essential expenditures for months forward. When the mechanic looked at me and said quietly “we will roll back your mileage, and keep it on warrantee” I almost leapt across the counter and kissed him. My boss responded that “you used your womanly charms and beat them at their game!” but it was not like that. Not like that at all. It was just a nice person giving me a break – the world is kind sometimes – even in nowhere #34.
The man I care for called right after another mechanic contradicted the first one and said that I had a huge bill to pay which I could not afford. Also, my boss gave me a bunch of grief for not coming to work on time and told me that my projects were behind schedule, when they weren't. The truth didn't matter though - I had to scramble to meet her psychological schedule instead. It was frustrating. I was scared about my future on two fronts - money (broke) and career (fired). I was crying and pacing and pulling my hair.
I hate being alone in this city sometimes - it is rigid and unforgiving - and I am just driving through nowhere #45 to the place that I hate more. On the phone - I was not fully assembled in one piece. I was not speaking very well. I was not thinking properly. I felt a bit embarrassed to be talking to him while I was all out of tune. We listed my problems one by one and we thought of plans to get through them. A few hours later I was fine. I could have done it all eventually on my own without a phone call – but it was so much easier to talk to him. His soothing sweet voice had a calming effect on me and I felt very cared for. The world is kind here sometimes too.