Back in Asheville


Today was a very long day.

A very very long day.

I got up at eight and went to Target to get polaroid film. On the way there I saw a hawk clinging to the roof rack of an SUV. He was hawkhiking. Or hitchhawking. He flew off into a field. The Emperor Waltz was playing on the radio. It was the best thing that it could have been.

Got back to the hotel, Niece was awake. We assembled our goods, packed them away, got all ready. Ah, but I am a conscientious mama and decided to add oil to the tank (it was low.) There, alas, in a moment of absent mindedness (there is no more accurate phrase. It actually felt as if my mind were totally absent and my body functioning by itself) I began to pour the oil, not into the engine, but into the power steering fluid tank. It quickly overflowed at which point I snapped to and realised what I had done. I mostly didn’t panic, or get angry, or self abuse. I felt all those instincts well up one after another, like fireworks. Maybe more like fish rising up from a pond and presenting themselves for selection. Murkiness to clarity and back to murkiness. I called my Dad. These instincts die hard. And not without good reason. He told me to take it to a mechanic.

Fortunately there was one just across the parking lot from where we sat. I walked across and inside. Keep in my mind I am wearing a black pleather ankle length skirt, plaid button down, massive black wool coat and my hair in two tiny buns on either side of my head. I had not anticipated needing to look any particular way today. Nor being a representative of my sex to two chain-smoking Eastern Pennsylvania mechanics. I fear I did not raise the bar, but confirmed them in their low opinion. That’s alright though, because I had a low opinion of them as well. They laughed hollowly when I told them what I’d done and told me gossipy horror stories of seals swelling, brakes failing, the entire system needing to be replaced. They flushed it and put new fluid in, made me sign a waiver saying I was an idiot and wouldn’t sue them, and sent me to the dealership. The man at the dealership said I was fine, there was no way for it to get to any of the brake system, and that I should buy a bottle of steering fluid just in case and go home.

I did not enumerate the emotional ups and downs of the above paragraph because it would be repetitive. There were a bunch. Trying to plan. Knowing it was no good to plan until I understood what was going on. Being very suspicious towards God and critical of the lack of subtlety displayed in this interference. It worked out, as these twists often do. It broke my brain out of thinking I had any control over anything, including continuing to be alive, and I had a restful period of peace, expansion and pleasurable mischief. I think my mind is getting its ascendancy back now that I am safe, still, indoors, but I remember.

I thought I would be angrier at the first mechanics. I would have been in the past. It seems like an awful lot of work now.

We got on the road around two. It got dark at five thirty. It began to rain at six. We hit fog somewhere in Tennessee. I had to stop at a rest stop and drop kick some things and hug a tree and then I felt better.

My eyelids feel swollen. I told myself I wasn’t allowed to take off my bra until I wrote this. Bra beats prose. Good night, dears.

Back in Asheville

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