The photo above is not, as a friend of mine remarked, the Wicked Witch of the East. This is me. Those are my legs. That is my car. This is one of those periodic moments in my life when violent grinding noises interrupt my peaceful and orderly existence, or would interrupt it if indeed I had a peaceful and orderly existence, and if violent grinding noises were not already the norm. But isn’t that true of everybody’s life? Aren’t violent grinding noises always the norm?
You may have noticed that the name of this blog is Figuring Shit Out. As it happens, I also wrote a book with exactly that title, and it’s also true that I’ve made kind of a BFD out of fixing my own sink whoop whoop, and hating on the very car pictured above, and best of all that time I shoveled piles of literal crap out of my basement.
But I don’t mean to suggest that I’m a BFD. Or an authority on cars, plumbing, caca or any other noxious essence that splats down upon humanity. I’m not in any way special or unusual in my shit-figuring, not remotely, certainly not because I crawled under my scraping and groaning CRV with a roll of packing tape (YES, PACKING TAPE, AND YES, THAT’S TOTALLY PATHETIC) in a futile attempt to mend the undercarriage, although I will admit I was rather proud of my moronic and stubborn refusal to let others with Actual Car Knowledge to climb under it in my stead and give it a proper look-see. I was even prouder when, later on, I slithered down with a pair of kitchen shears and clipped off the offending broken bits with the same offhand panache that I once used to to trim my son’s bowl cut, and won’t he be pleased when he learns I just broadcast that tidbit on social media.
This is the story of my life. This is the story of everyone’s life, the figuring out of shit on an aggravating, extemporaneous, predictably unpredictable basis. It’s all about the belching of noises, the breaking of parts, the interruption of routine, the introduction of disorder, the muttering of Oh Nos and Oh Shits and Why Nows, the looking down in an attempt to understand, the crawling under in an effort to repair, the retreat from shadowed underworlds with blinking eyes and a face streaked with grease and confusion, the glance thrown at people who see you and know you and stand with you and show you the photo of your “Wizard of Oz” legs that they snapped from an oblique angle. And then the laugh that you share. And then the prayer that you utter to God or to fate asking furiously for a break, though not a literal one, at least not for a little while, please please please please please.
It’s all F.S.O., my people. The noise and the grease streaks, the shadows and the laughter. It’s all F.S.O.