Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Engine is Running, but No One’s at the Wheel

“I don’t have my keys!” I said in alarm to my friend Kathy as we started out of the fabric store last week.I don’t often have my keys, making me the only one that’s ever alarmed by the fact.

I gave my pockets the usual pat down and whirled around in alert surveillance as though the keys might miraculously materialize mid-aisle.

“Did you set them down somewhere?” Kathy asked.

“No, I never had them,” I said, slowly realizing that I must have left them in the car. I was already reaching for my cell phone so I could alert Onstar of our plight. Inherent in this course of action is the assumption that if, indeed, I’d been so remiss to have left my keys in the car then, of course, I’d locked them in.

Instinctively, I reached for the handle, and the door popped open. “Look at this,” I scolded myself, “I left the keys in an unlocked car!”

Kathy jumped in the passenger’s seat while I scoped around for the keys.

“It’s running,” Kathy observed.


“The car is already running.”

I’d like to say that it wasn’t so, that’d she’d merely misinterpreted the situation; but as a journalist, I’m committed to factual representation of events. In the spirit of full disclosure, it is my duty to report that all of the evidence indicates that I simply existed my running car and proceeded to shop for upwards of twenty minutes. I should also probably mention that said events played out in a tired shopping center in the middle of the Homeless District.

There’s really nothing one can say in this type of situation, so I just made a beeline for the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru, which I later discovered was an ideal response. Turns out, all the latest research indicates that coffee in excess of three cups per day wards off dementia. Not having read that report at the time of these events, I can only assume that my most basic biological urges kicked in to compensate for my failing faculties.

Apparently the coffee didn’t have time to kick in before we were finished at the next store. Upon finding the ideal fabric, I had it measured and cut and, feeling done, headed for the exit.

“Aren’t you going to pay for that?” Kathy asked as I started out the door.

Sadly, the afternoon mirrored the rest of my life--a well oiled machine generating due dates, projects, family needs, and social commitments with the precision of a surgeon and the speed of Marion Jones on steroids. Trouble is, in the midst of all this accuracy and regularity, I’m browsing the metaphoric aisles of life, whistling and loitering while the engine of reality hums along with no one at the wheel.

Anyone up for a coffee break?

1 comment:

Jen said...

I would love some coffee.. we definitely need to plan some time for thanksgiving.. coffee and your pumpkin pie.. mmmmm.. I don't know yet how long we will be in town for.. it may be a whole week.. or just wed. through Sunday. By the way.. my mom and dad came up this morning and brought a HUGE bag of dunkin donuts coffee.. you can now buy it in bulk at Costco!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin