Tuesday, 3 February 2015

My Life As A Car

Another day has come and gone. Another young woman has let herself into my apartment, gotten me out of bed, helped me in the shower, gotten me back into bed, helped me dress, and stretched me. Another care worker has seen me "au naturel". Another woman I barely know has given my naked body a close order inspection. Once again, it was all business, taking care of me so I can continue to live something vaguely resembling a normal life.

Some days I feel like an old car, rumbling down this endless highway, bits and pieces falling off at each bump and jostle, sometimes a small nut or bolt, other times something major that everyone can see, yet on I go, the drive train still at least semi-functioning. Sometimes nothing falls off but some small thing, or not so small thing, breaks or stops working; one time it will be windshield wipers that fail to swish, another time it will be radio that won't turn on, or perhaps a glove box that nobody can get to close any more.

These broken parts and failing pieces are highly visible on occasion; a body piece falls off or the transmission fails. Other times the damage is only visible to those inside the car, those intimately involved with this ongoing voyage. Sometimes nothing happens at all; then I wonder what will happen, for surely as my car slowly breaks to pieces something will fail. Sometimes the inner parts which break are the ones I notice the most.

There is gas in the tank. The motor still runs. The steering works most of the time. The headlights are dimmed, yet functional although the turn signals failed long ago. And yes, the horn works. The question is not how far or how long I can go, but how I can keep going in such a state of disrepair. Yet onward I go, rumbling and grumbling along life's highway, trying hard to remain oblivious to that which I cannot change.

It's a good thing this carriage of mine doesn't go all that fast. The brakes gave up long ago. I am trapped in forward motion, unstopping. I will travel this highway until sufficient parts of me are broken that I can no longer travel. I will drive myself until the wheels fall off. I feel for my passengers, whoever they may choose to be, for this is an uncomfortable ride, never knowing if we will make the next turn, top the next hill, see the next horizon. At least I get to drive; they just get to watch.

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