Thursday, June 28, 2007

I guess I'll go it alone

Circling around the block for the 4th time looking for a parking spot, I notice the low fuel light calling my attention. I've been looking for a spot for 20 minutes for a quick drop-in at a friends engagement party, and things just aren't going my way. After waiting for an 18-wheeler to complete his wide turn down a residential block, I pull forward in time to see the light turn red in front of me. I finally pull around another corner, when I recognize a faint smell wafting down the block. Rustic and natural on one hand, but completely urban on the other. It takes a moment to place it - it was definitely horse manure. And that is where I caught a car withdrawing from its parking spot. I had finally found a resting spot for my car outside a stable.

Almost an hour late at this point to the party, I dashed from the car down the three short blocks to the hall. I knew nobody there but the band, and the groom was already flooded with well-wishers. After accidentally taking a swig of seltzer - which was kept in bottles identical to the uncarbonated spring water, I retreated back to a post by the band. Clearing a plate of hor d'eurves, I finally pushed my way to the groom, gave him a hug and wished him mazel tov and good night. I was already a minute late to evening services, so I took the opportunity to bolt. I open the door, and am greeted by a torrential downpour. In my haste to finally arrive at the simcha, I had left my umbrella in the car, despite an overcast day. It was coming down too hard to make a break for it, especially since the "break" would have been for 7 blocks. I paced a few minutes, picturing the services beginning without me, as I impatiently awaited a lull in the rain. Finally a chance came, and I bolted in my suit, off towards the synagogue. I made great time, and felt as if I was drifting between the raindrops. A block away and only 4 minutes late, I was still relatively dry. But two stores before I was to pass under a scaffolding that would carry me to the shul's front steps, the heavens opened, and my jacket soaked through. I ran the last hundred feet, too late to turn back as I faced an open sky in all directions.

I finally ran down the stairs, nearly sliding into the wall in my haste to descend the spiral steps. I made my way in only 6 minutes late - to see no minyan taking place. It was summer hours, and they had prayed forty minutes prior. I was safe under the steepled roof, but had now completed a 7 block journey that took me the opposite direction from my car, and had a musty jacket and no Maariv to show for my efforts.

Despite being halfway home, I knew there was another service about 15 minutes away in the opposite direction in 20 minutes. I could make it if all went well. I don't know why I thought that was possible for me. Already soaked, I resigned myself to a full encounter with the downpour, not waiting for any let up. There was no walking between drops on the open streets of the route I took, though, and soon my pants were soaked through as well.

I finally relented and flattened myself against a building wall, hoping the eaves 10 floors up would have some mercy. Emboldened by the seeming protection I was receiving and the ticking clock, I was motivated to hop across the street, where the close protection of a scaffolding beckoned. Gd saw his chance, and loosened the rest of the heavenly faucet as I crossed the street. Finally making it to the covered scaffolding, I noticed that my refuge was actually a direct conduit for the wind to blow the rain through, and between the blowing wet and the leaky tin roof, I was receiving no respite. So without hesitation I made the final push to my car. With my head down to avoid the rain falling into my eyes and to pick out any obstacles, I crossed the last intersection, as I felt the wet sensation around my ankle of my foot descending into some secret puddle buried amongst the squares of the sidewalk. I reached my car, pulled off my sopping sport coat, and sat down for a breath that was interupted by the rain blowing into my covered car door. I quickly closed up, pulled out, and waited for passing traffic to let me join.

Finally, I started to move, when I noticed my window fogging up. I'm not an enemy of the defogger, but I had no budget in my empty gas tank for any further sharing. With no choice, I hoped that I'd make it the 30 miles until I could fill up next. Turning up the cool air, I looked up to see my windshield begin to clear and the last stoplight before the highway turn red. I'd have to lose another 2 minutes on my dash to actually make a minyan. I pull out at the green, and follow the turn up to the onramp, and find myself greeted by a sea of brake lights. With 10 minutes and 5 miles to go, I'm sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.

Somehow, I manage to make it in 11 minutes, and am only 1 minute tardy as I poll off the highway exit. If I can only find a parking spot, I can actually make the crux of this prayer. This time, though, I only circle once before finding a new opening, and I take my umbrella out with me as I run to the shul only 5 minutes late. I dash inside, and find them half-way through. Following the service, I give up my parking spot and head for home, one hour later and 15 minutes farther from my bed than planned. This was the end of a day where nothing went my way. Driving home alone, I couldn't wait for it all to end.

I couldn't have imagined a better script as a metaphor for how I feel now.

I woke up at 5 AM the next day, and found my tire flat.

Comments:
Well, it made for quite the entertaining story! ;)
 
Doofus :)
 
Aww! I feel so bad. Better luck next time...
 
kinda helps you appreciate the good days, huh?
 
Aw, you guys are a great support group! You all put a smile on my face - even MH!
 
Sweet And Low

(1)

Sweet and low, sweet and low,

Wind of the western sea, ,

Low, low, breathe and blow,

Wind of the western sea!

Over the rolling waters go,

Come from the dying moon, and blow,

Blow him again to me;

While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.

(2)

Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,

Father will come to thee soon;

Rest, rest, on mother's breast,

Father will come to his babe in the nest,

Silver sails all out of the west

Under the silver moon;

Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.

-----by age of conan
 
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