Something you wish you had done in your life
It’s a fine time right now for introspection and I’ll tell you why: My car was towed from the front of my house today because the inspection sticker on the license plate, the one that I have yet to receive from the DMV, has yet to arrive. On the surface, this all sounds very sinister, but there’s more to the story and none of it is in my favor.
The registration renewal form arrived in September, signaling the need to get the car inspected. The Check Engine light, that vaguest of dashboard beacons, came on at nearly the same time. I put everything off in exchange for all of the baloney in the lab that needed my focus at the time thinking that, BAH, I have plenty of time to take care of things. Fast forward to last week. A yellow sticker showed up on my back window declaring that as far as the city was concerned, the car had been abandoned and would be towed within a week. Well, sure. So, I recall the car saga, go and get the Check Engine light remedied and the car inspected, pay for the registration, and think to myself, foolishly, that the issue is finished. Surely, the same computer that immediately acknowledged my car’s passing of its inspection and the payment of the registration would signal the people inclined to towing things and all would be hucky and/or dory.
This was one hell of an assumption.
I could’ve called the number on the yellow sticker and explained things, made assurances, etc. I could’ve moved the car elsewhere until I received the new tags. I could’ve gotten the inspection done and the car registered two months ago. Or even a month ago. Now seems like a good time to mention that two weeks ago, I found that my water had been turned off because I’d misplaced a bill at some point during the same two months. Is there a trend here? I see a trend.
Now, I have spent time in positions of ridiculous responsibility involving the well-being and equipping of actual living people. I have been responsible for myself and things that I’ve done and even some that I had nothing to do with, but ended up being responsible for, nevertheless. My attention to detail has been referred to on occasion as ‘freakish’. And yet, here I sit, in an overstuffed chair, legs propped upon its matching ottoman, thinking about the freshly vacant space in front of my house next to the curb where hours ago my car sat. Tomorrow, provided everything goes perfectly in dealings with various city workers, I may get it back after some lube-free financial rape. Getting the water turned back on required something less than rape, but certainly qualified for characterization as ‘unpleasant violation’.
How is it I can allow things like this to happen? Where is the disconnect? Do I compartmentalize things? Procrastinate in very specific ways about very specific items? I don’t have the answer and the sting is that I never learn from these little slaps to the head. There’s something missing in my education regarding this part of my life and I don’t know what it is. The strange thing is that I’m never surprised. Never angry at anyone other than myself. I’m relentless in my acceptance of responsibility and I’m so calm about it that even I find it all a bit disconcerting. I treat these things like I’ve treated all crises, great and small: Deliberately and emotionally detached. Because what are my options? Yell into a phone at someone about how I’m an idiot and how dare they verify it?
I wish I had put forth more of an effort in all of the sports that I played growing up and spent less time feeling inadequate by virtue of other people’s honest constructive criticism. I had talent, but I never believed that I had enough, so I threw in the towel. I stuck with golf to good effect, but sticking with a sport that you can play all your life, while dropping all the others that don’t offer the same long-term opportunities makes no sense. I had talent. And yet, there’s only one person to blame and he’s currently trying to deliberately detach himself from wanting to kick his own ass for being solely responsible for having his car towed two days before a 4-day weekend. At the moment, I wish I’d done a lot of things in my life, but wishes aren’t time machines and are therefore pointless.
Sir @ November 23, 2010