Friday, June 20, 2008

Zen. Not.

I. How to Cook Your Life is a lovely documentary about Zen Chef Edward Espe Brown. I watched it with my guest/collaborator over the course of our evenings, as a peaceful reward to our hard work during the days. S. was able to flow effortlessly into the film. She is more focused and obedient than I. When EEB said to the people in the film to breathe deeply, S. breathed deeply, too. When he said to BE the package of cheese you can't get open--to ASK the cheese package how you can help it get open--S. nodded solemnly in affirmation.

By this time, of course, I had hauled my laptop over into my lap and was checking the weather, answering e-mail, reading blogs, and wondering how the Garage Band application works.

II. I had noticed earlier in the day that my tires were dangerously low. Let me quickly gloss over the embarrassing fact that I've never put air in my own tires. Oh, right, I can't gloss over that, damn it, since the fact is central to this story. OK, so sue me, I've never done it. I've always been a religious "every 3 months" oil changer, and the tires were always serviced then, and somehow I've just made it coasting through luck on Good Air Juju. But sure enough, I knew that I had to take the plunge, so S. and I set out to find a gas station.

I'll skip over the 20 minutes of us standing in front of the air machine, reading and re-reading the instructions. I'll delete the section about the panhandlers trying to get money from us. Finally, S. went in and confessed our shame to the assembled masses in the convenience store area, and returned with some guy wearing a solicitous smirk, who showed us how to do it.

It looked so easy. The first one was done, he stood up and handed me the hose, and sauntered (I swear the grin reached all the way around the back of his head) away.

I grasped the hose like I was holding on to the head of a deadly snake and went to my knees.

I took the cap off the, uh, air thingie, and promptly dropped it into the wheel well (or so I thought). I scrambled and patted the concrete, reamed out the inside of the wheel well with my blind, fumbling hand, and S. said the thought she saw something on the ground.

I'll skip the part about S. crawling under the car, looking for the cap and getting stuck in bubblegum, and me shouting to the tire "TELL ME HOW I CAN HELP YOU FILL YOURSELF, YOU @!$#!! TIRE!!!"

By this time, we were both weeping with laughter, and had pretty much tied the entire car up in a huge bow made of the air hose. But the tires are all plumped out at roughly, some measurement.

III. I don't see myself joining a Zen monastery anytime soon. I'm pretty sure I would be kicked out in the first 10 minutes.

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