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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

As Iíve been doing to myself for nine and a half months short of sixty years, I fretted myself into a stew over nothing. In the end, all was well, and as usual, I felt stoopid for thinking I even had a problem in the first place. Well, thatís my problem right there, isnít it? So whaddaya gonna do?

To be more specific, the problem (this time) was gas. Not the extra acid my stomach produced while I fretted and stewed, but the stuff that makes my car go. Some call it petrol, but then some call a flashlight a torch. Last week, when I was out on my errands, I saw that my gas station was torn up for remodeling. I was happy they were replacing the pumps that kept jamming, but not so happy that I might have to find another station. Fortunately, last week I didnít need gas.

Over the weekend, that changed. Thatís one reason I stayed home all day Monday, not even making my usual trip to the post office. Iíve tried other stations, but they all seem to have some quirk that I have to figure out, either an extra handle to pull or some different code that has to be input. I hate that, and it always worries me that I wonít be able to do it, and Iíll run out of gas driving around looking for a pump I actually can operate. So instead of doing something about it, I (a) freeze in temporary paralysis, and then (2) force myself to act, even if itís against my own instincts.

This morning when I left the house, my mouth was dry, my head was spinning, and I had a hard time catching my breath. I knew I had enough gas to get to my old station, and I knew there was another station (one I didnít want to use) across the street from it. I was also pretty sure I wouldnít make it there and back unless I filled my tank. My heart pounded harder the closer I got to my old station, hoping against hope that the remodeling had been completed.

And so it was. The new pumps were in place, and I didnít have to do anything different after all. I donít like different. I shun change. (But I can make the biggest problem out of the least little thing, canít I?)

14 June 2008

The gate across the road.

See? I told you this story had a happy ending. As I drove away from the station, I gradually started breathing normally again, until I realized that Iíd just paid $4.46 per gallon and had spent more than forty dollars to fill my tiny tank, for the first time ever. I may spend a lot of days like yesterday, staying home all day. Once they fine tune that new material that makes all walls soundproof, I might even consider moving back into town, where things are within walking distance. (Donít hold your breath on that one, though.)

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