When I missed the sink, and spit my toothpaste down my blouse (whitening toothpaste will bleach a teal blouse, by the way) I should have called it a day, and returned to bed. Instead, I dragged the child out to run errands. When the "Low Coolant" light came on, and the dash began the furious dinging that is supposed to alert you that this isn't something you can just shrug off, and go about your day, I pulled into the closest repair shop I could find (a tyre place with a good reputation, so that was lucky). That's when my life got a little David Lynch-ish.
I watched as the much-too-neatly groomed mechanic without any visible dirt on him poured coolant into the tank. Ever meet people that speak like they are reciting lines, even when the interaction doesn't seem like a script-able thing? Well yeah, it was like that. Yes, why yes it was.
"Hey, I don't want to micro-manage you but..." I pointed to the trail of liquid pouring out the radiator onto the ground.
You'd think being stuck at a mechanic a good fifty miles from home with a bored kid, and a strange attendant would be bad enough-and it was pretty bad. There aren't too many things that could make it more uncomfortable, or at least that was what I thought until I settled into the waiting room with Danny to find the movie I loathe more than all other movies blaring from the large television set. I called Mr. ETB, explained that we'd likely need to replace the radiator, and then, as more than twenty years together affords a couple, he asked if they have magazines, and I replied there was a television, and asked him to guess what movie I would be forced to watch for the next hour or so.
I tell him we can't ever divorce. I sit watching Groundhog Day, thinking about Purgatory, and how much the radiator is going to cost. Two hours later, the part comes in, and they start working on the car. All the while, the attendant who now really reminds me of the cop from Twin Peaks, keeps calling me by the diminutive of my name. My family won't dare to call me by the diminutive of my name. I say nothing. I try not looking at the television, but all they have is People Magazine, which clearly isn't about any "people" I can relate to. I'm not really certain they are people at all, but computer-generated fictions. The attendant leaves briefly, I imagine him going to the diner for pie. The young-ish woman at the counter in his absence looks like she's just in from hiding bodies, but short sleeved Oxford shirts make everyone look that way. I notice she's been picking at her face recently, as the bloodied spots are still oozing a bit.
I can't stand it anymore. Danny asks if he can have the remote to change the channel, and it turns out that's fine. He promptly switches it to the Weather Channel, which isn't all that different from watching Groundhog Day as the same reports rotate through. Maybe this *is* Purgatory. I try looking at People again, but I can't concentrate. I've had a headache for a couple weeks now-on and off, sometimes really intense, but mostly just sort of there, screwing with me. Danny switches to the channel that runs a stock ticker across the screen. The Dow is down, he tells me like I have any investments to care about. My head is killing me.
We finally get through, get out, and on the road. I attempt to switch lanes only to have a crazed mini-van come barreling up on me from at least fifty yards back, ensuring I would be unable to get over. I watch the car pass me, weave in-and out of traffic. I finally get along side her, and flip her off while mouthing something she could clearly understand before she sped off yet again. It was only as she drove ahead that I noticed the sign painted to the mini-van door; Organ Transport. I really, really hope this isn't Purgatory, or I'm going to have to go back, and get a do-over on that one.