I came back to town from the break with a manic high. Within a week, I’m forced to do a blog post face-off with my friend to motivate me to get back into writing shape. Writing has seemingly fled from me, every now and then looking back and luring me with ideas during times when I have no way to write them down.
Let’s talk about the break. It was good; in fact, much better than I thought it would be. I had to pick up a car from my Mom out of our remaining Volvo population. And while I am now the proud and titled owner of three separate vehicles, none have airbags or power windows so I’m not exactly sure where I come out on a tally of life success. This new, old, Volvo was the car I drove in high school and as a friend, and former prom date of mine, settled into it the other day he stiffened and said, “The last time I was in this car… I think I was in a tux.”
At some point during my sophomore year in college there was an unfortunate incident with my exhaust falling off the car. It showered the road with sparks and I decided that using a possibly flammable bungee cord would be a good call to hoist it back up. It was an incident when, where left to my own devices, I managed to finagle some success out something tinged with a bit of madness. I think this sums up my hope for the New Year.
[This deviation here? This is how my mind has been running for the last couple of months. Disjointed and uncomfortable. I’ve already once closed my eyes and breathed in a couple times as I was writing this trying to hold onto some shred of focus.]
The exhaust on the car was fixed but on a trip home my father took a look at it, deemed it unsafe and before you could say “station wagon” I was handed the keys to another Volvo. A short time later, a soul-saving Christian took to trying to save my Dad and ended up getting himself guilt tripped into fixing my car. Even when he couldn’t do it himself, my Dad still managed to get that car fixed for me. That’s efficient.
Over the break though, I had to do some cursory damage assessment on the car after it had been sitting for a year. The battery was dead, the brakes needed bleeding, and I salvaged tailgate struts from yet another Volvo in our driveway. This weekend I drive back up there to pick up the tools I used over the break, the tools that my Dad used to own. As I out fixing the car, there was a few fleeting thoughts of this. It was a comfort that I held, even if without the same grace and knowledge, the tools that my Dad had used.
To get to my Mom, I had arranged to kill a few birds with one stone, because if nothing, I am also exceedingly efficient. A friend of mine mentioned he was running a public Yule circle and I was welcome to come. From there, my Mom would only have to drive at hour… at her speeds… to come pick me up.
I walked away from the break rejuvenated because I really thought to myself how many pillars of support I do still have in my life. People that will come to see me for only a half hour during a layover, people that will pick me up at the airport with a wry smile, people that will find me sitting with my bags and a book sipping coffee at an IHOP, people that will drag me to karaoke bars and proclaim that, verily, our rendition of Love Shack got actual genuine applause.
I told J as we leaned against the coffee table in front of the TV when midnight has just rung been rung in on the East Coast how New Year’s Eve is probably my favorite holiday. It’s one of the few holidays by which everyone is affected. The idea of a unified hope, I told him, regardless of its detractors, still serves me well.
Plus for crying out loud, there is alcohol and home pyrotechnics. This beats candy, sweaty masks, bunnies, and an a jolly, yet judgemental man any day of the year.