Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Items from the weekend

1. I'm traveling up 75, about an hour into the drive, singing along to whatever CD I had in the player at the time. A pickup truck pulls up beside me, and after a few seconds I glance over. The driver, a tanned man with salt-and-pepper (more pepper) hair, is gesticulating at me. I hmm to myself and roll down the window, and hear him yell, "Your tire!" I nod and smile. I don't notice anything wrong with the way my car is driving, and I wonder if perhaps he isn't playing a joke on me--but surely a man with salt-and-pepper (more pepper) hair would be too old for that. I'm not going to pull over on the freeway, however, so I get off at the next exit (the Anna/Minster exit, if you're curious) and stop at a huge, empty gas station.

My left rear tire is indeed sagging. Just then Eric calls and I ask him how much a tire has to be inflated to be safe to drive before getting out my pressure gauge and having it tell me 5 PSI. I swear a little. I get back in the car to drive to the air pump and a guy in a suburban pulls up. "Having some trouble?" he says. "I can change your tire for you if you need me to." He looks at the tire and points out a screw in it. "There's a truck repair place under that '99' sign down the road there," he says. "They'll patch it for you." I thank him and he drives away, and then I hang up with Eric and I drive away. The truck repair place is a vast empty blacktop with a garage on the left and a sign saying "Karriokee [sic] Fridays" on the right. The guy in the garage spends half an hour putting new treads on the rims for an eighteen-wheeler. Finally he has me pull my car into the garage and put it in neutral. Since he can't see the screw, he moves the car by rotating the tire with his hands, which I think is the coolest thing ever. He patches the tire and charges me $10.70 and I'm on my way. All the way up I can feel how buoyant my car is now.

2. This weekend we moved Eric's stuff out of his ex-wife's house, and by 'we' I mean 'a bunch of people other than me.' I did help unload afterward, but I figured it would be a good idea for me not to show up at the ex-wife's house. I told this to Mom Sunday and she said, "I knew you were smart." Instead I went shoe shopping with Toledo Jen. In the middle of testing the sandals I eventually bought Eric called and said, "Do you mind not getting the quilt?" The quilt in question was TEFL, the one I'd made for them as a wedding present, and they hadn't put it specifically in the divorce agreement, and now Shanna (whom I shall in future call The Ex, though I hope I won't have reason to) said she liked it and was keeping it. I said, "That's fine. I'll make you a better one." We hung up and I dropped into the chair beside Toledo Jen and grumbled about it for the next ten minutes. Before that I hadn't thought I cared much about it. While it was the best I could do at the time, I can do better now, and as Toledo Jen pointed out, I didn't really want anything that was theirs anyway. Anyway, they've had it stuffed in a closet since they got it, so I expect she wanted to keep it only to prevent Eric or me from having it. Now that I've slept on it (the thought, not the quilt), I don't care anymore. I'll make a better one.

3. I noticed I haven't been writing as much about personal things since the thing at work. They don't get to win.

3a. Saturday night when we went to bed Eric's back was sore from moving things and I made him lie down in the dark so I could rub it. I could feel his spine when I pressed down, how his muscles slid and gave way under my fingers, and thought about how his body is flesh and blood, just like mine, as precious as mine, as fragile; and I couldn't massage away the soreness. He said all that was important was that I tried, but I've never really believed that and I wanted to do more than try, but there wasn't anything I could do. I leaned close because it was dark, as if being able to see was going to help, and tried not to get teary because I do that a lot nowadays and I wish I wouldn't.

4. I helped sort boxes the next day and was amused by how many times I heard "Hey! I remember that!" When I think about it, I, too, could live quite well without most of the stuff I have. However, I think I get rid of things more regularly than he does. Also I definitely have a lower tolerance for clutter. We've agreed that should we move in together, he will have a study that I will not touch so that it can be as messy as he likes (except he has to bring the silverware back to the kitchen at least once a week) and the rest of the house will be up to my higher (but by no means exacting) standards.

4a. Eric personally owns about 12% of the world's Altoids.

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