Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pop the Hood

In his very best car dreams, I would pop the hood.  
I would pull the latch
every single time
I get

I would stand at the front of the car while the gas flowed into the tank at the back.  I would lean over the front end of the car, careful to not actually touch the car. I would check the oil. I would check the windshield washer fluid. I would rub my chin with my hand while my left brain pondered and assessed and determined technical things.

I would mutter, “It looks like it’s about time to ____________________”  And then I would fill in the blank by saying something smart in car guy language.

That would make the husband happy, in his very best car dreams.

I am a dream killer.
I rarely pull the latch.
I pretend to know nothing.

It’s completely his fault, of course.

Cars are his THING.
They make him happy.

Cars make me happy if they have pretty paint
and are washed and vacuumed
and have a stereo with good bass
and have a stick shift 
and tons of torque
and corner well
and are

He loves all the cars.  
No matter what.

He cares more.

I pretend to know nothing.

Last week we had a car issue. The husband could tell you in great detail what it was. I don’t have a clue what it was. He explained the problem to me.  He quickly sensed my lack of interest in what he was saying and my failure to fully commit to the cause. The conversation ended with him muttering, “Am I the only one who ever pops the hood?  I pop it    EVERY   TIME   I   GET   GAS!”  

3 days later I took the teenage boy to the gas station.  I forced the budding driver to pump the gas.  I forced him to wash the rear window with the drippy squeegee.  I forced the smart, college bound sophomore to calculate the gas mileage.  

“Why??????”, he whined.

“Because, “ I lectured, “The first signs of automotive trouble often present themselves in a declining gas mileage calculation.”  

It was the husband’s car guy voice.
It came out of my mouth.

There was a man in the next stall over when the teenage boy and I got gas.  He popped his hood.  He rubbed his chin while his left brain pondered and assessed and determined technical things.  

He turned to us and called out.  

“Hey!” he said.  “That boy’s gotta know more than how to pump gas and clean a window! Next time you should really pop the hood and have him check things out underneath!  Anyone who drives a car should do that every single time they get gas, you know?”

I looked around to see if I was being punked by the husband.

I took a breath and turned back to the man in the next stall.  “You are absolutely right.  I was speaking with my husband just the other day…..about that…..about the importance of popping the hood.”

“Well that’s fantastic. You tell your husband he’s a lucky man to have a wife who doesn’t pretend to know nothing about cars.”

Friday, April 8, 2016

Girl Gone Wild

It is now a forgotten, tranquil time.  It was a time when the two sisters could still lay claim to an impeccable reputation.  

The two girls always stayed inside their home, rarely peeking out in an improper manner. Certainly, they were considered well behaved.   

The girls had never gone wild.

And then, one of the girls got sick.

People felt sorry for the sick girl and started giving her attention. She was the topic of conversation everywhere she went. Curious, caring people wanted to see the girl and asked her to come outside.  

The people, sometimes strangers, wanted to touch the girl.   
So they would know,
what it felt like,

to be


She was seen uncovered at the park by the lake.  A flash of white was seen in the checkout line at the grocery store.  A ample amount of flesh showed up on the neighbor’s front porch. Most shockingly, she was inappropriately visible, without care, at various local high school functions.  With reluctant acquiescence, forced by social necessity, she was modest and coy no more.

The girl had gone friendly.

The caring people asked her how she knew.  They asked her if it was her fault. They even had the answers. They said they knew the reasons. They were sure of the cure.

It all affected her.

The sick sister went to visit all those who might give her hope.  She went to all the smart people that her insurance company deemed reputable and worthy of partial payment. She had become detached from her comfort zone and complacent about protecting it.  She refused the cotton gown, finding it meaningless. Without any hesitation or internal debate, she flung herself out
to anyone who
wanted to

and FEEL


8 doctors looked at the girl.  
5 specialists touched the girl.
11 professional healers talked amongst themselves about the girl.
3 laboratories thought they knew all about the girl.

They did the analyses that the geniuses do.

The girl wasn’t phased.  
She was DEAD to the attention.
She was no longer in control.

Since she,
got sick,
since she left home,

she had become a


The sick sister fought the "battle" with a

positive attitude!

This is how those who watch from afar think that it happened. This is how those who took an interest told her to


the sickness.

This is how you win,
they say.  

And if you pray a lot and follow the Google advice, then you will be


It’s very simple, the healing.
They know that for sure.

She came home, eventually.  The people, the system, they had lost interest.  
The healthy sister was appalled at what had gone on.  

SHE had shown herself.
She had gone WILD.  
None of this was in their life plan.

They were now enveloped in so much vulnerable, covered over by so much uncertain.

You wouldn’t believe the things I’ve seen and done,

The sick sister said.

I am so glad it’s over,

The healthy sister said.

“But it’s not.  They still want us both to die.”

“Who?  The sickness or the doctors?”


The sisters now wait.
For the good.  
Or the bad.  
For the future