Miriam Feder home


Enlightenment wears no socks and drives no car

How damn many times have I lost my car in one of these garages. Big buiding, tight corners, crazy barely legible reserved signs, huge SUVS bulging out of every mirror, side and corner at me. I’m completely hemmed in, yet I know I have acres of space. But what if those objects in mirror really are closer than they appear? Then what? And I’m already late. That’s already why the blood is pulsing in my temples, obscuring my vision. That’s already why I’ve felt foolish since I closed the windows on my screen, found one more tiny thing to do before I left the house, and went crawling into the morning backup. I should have left an extra ten minutes for this, and what was I doing with that time? Don’t let’s even go there.

Those minor dilemmas acquit themselves as commonplace yet again. It seems silly to recount them. But they caused me to bolt first for one elevator and then another, charging up and through the building. Running, pushing, organizing, breathing a bit but not bothering to note the floor I was on in that underground space. Not bothering to see which door is better for exit, the twists and turns I did or didn’t take this time. I won’t even recall this forgetment until I push the button to return to my subterranean anxiety, before I crawl slowly backwards through the jumble for my rod-and-cone test at noon. Only when I am late for the afternoon plate will the errors of the morning trip me and laugh.

Maybe this time I will be sucked underground with those people who never find their cars. Surely somewhere there is a permanent pile of midsized, midvalued, dirty steel cages, like the solo sock pile I imagine just outside of our collective human grasp. There is probably a car lot like that in the basement of every large garage, adjacent to where the nice-grip pens go to degrade into leaky stick pens that caress silky fabrics whenever possible. Only a car is rather a precious thing: big, expensive, mortgaged perhaps and holding so many other attributes of a life. And without my car I cannot go. I am trapped, trapped in a way that makes me wish I’d just run sockless through many days, assured that I would never read the notes I wouldn’t write, anyway. Maybe the bus is the road to non-attachment and the garage is our last trial.