Myth gluttony and my diet

I was thinking the other day about how often I seek after sources of myth that will further inspire me in my spiritual walk. I watch beautiful sunsets (the best ones come in winter on the east coast), I listen to some good music, I pop in some of my favorite movies, I re-read some great books from the past – the Bible most of all, play video games where I am a hero who saves the day, etc. To experience each one of these is to be reminded of the beauty of the divine in my life and my importance and value in God’s eyes. However, it seems to me lately that I have had too much receiving and not enough giving. I feel imbalanced.

I have become something of a recluse. I spend a small amount of time with a few friends, my wife and daughter, but most of a day is spend in solitude. I work remotely all the time, so I often go most of the hours in the day and a large part of the night in another world – deep in though designing a website, reading a book, watching a movie, playing a video game, listening to music, etc. – I am awash in dreams, philosophy, and imaginary worlds, and the real world and its problems are faint and far away. It begin to dawn on me that I have become a glutton to chasing myth. I began to wish that I could start reaching out again…

Wish granted.

Yesterday I woke up to reality by finding out that I had forgotten to attend a doctor’s appointment with my wife to see our new baby in ultrasound. She was upset with me, but more sad than angry. I felt absolutely terrible, and cursed my bad memory, but there was no recovering from being so stupid. After scraping off my car for the 3rd time that day, I took off my gloves to start the car, and suddenly understood why my hands stank all day – they were saturated with cat urine from our old cats. No matter what I did, I couldn’t wash it off. As I write this, I can still smell the urine on my hands. I came home that evening with flowers intending to apologize to my wife, only to reach the door of the house and be interrupted by a terrible crashing sound – I turned around to see that my car had drifted down the driveway and smashed into my neighbor’s parked car. I just hung my head in despair. Another neighbor rushed down the street to see if I was ok, but I was too shocked to engage in normal human conversation, and just told him I was sorry, which of course, confused him. After I offered no explanation as to why I was sorry, he scratched his head, told me he was glad no one was hurt, and walked back to his house. He’s a great guy – I’ve forgotten his name, but he likes to wear a cowboy hat and boots. The last time I talked to him was this summer when he told me he was having a cowboy party and if it was OK if he could park guests at the curb in front of my house.

After standing outside in frigid weather waiting for the unlucky car owner to show up, I finally gave up and went in to call the police to come to the scene. After calling, I decided to go around the neighborhood and ring on doorbells nearby to see if anyone knew who owned the car. Nobody was home, or at least no one wanted to answer their door. I finally came back home and sat down by my window with a good view of my neighbor’s car – I would wait until he/she came and then I would run out and catch them. Then my phone rang and I ran to the kitchen to get it. I was on for no longer than two minutes when I decided to check my neighbor’s damaged car again to see if he/she had returned to find it yet – and to my horror, it was gone – whoever owned the car had driven off without noticing the damage. Not 5 minutes after, an officer arrived on the scene to find, well, no scene at all. I explained that the car my car hit just drove off. He gave me a weird look as if I was making everything up, but I think he eventually believed me. He looked at my car to check the damage, but told me to call him if the damaged car came back so he could do a report.

Finally my neighbor did return. He evidently had a date that night, and was in too much of a hurry to notice the damage. I had been waiting eagerly by my window for his return for 4 hours. I rushed over and told him that his car damage was my fault. He was very relieved – he wasn’t sure where or when the damage occurred. We ended up talking a lot and generally had a great time hanging out as we waited for the police officer to return. He told me that the accident provided great opportunities for exciting conversation on his date anyway, so I felt a little relieved, and remember thinking how funny it would be if he and his date eventually got married because they hit it off so well. We both also discovered that someone has been egging our cars periodically since Halloween, and devised plans to monitor the street to catch them some night. Everything worked out OK in the end, and I went to bed happy for such a lousy day to end.

The next morning didn’t prove to be much more promising. A lot of snow fell overnight, and the streets were covered. After scraping off the car with a new pair of gloves, I realized they they too had been saturated with cat urine. I began to think my hat smelled a little funny too. I hadn’t put my snow tires on yet, and even I was surprised at how poorly my summer tires worked in the snow. I kept on running off the road down my street until I finally gave up and skidded and spun my tires until I made it back to my house. Since I had my snow tires around, I decided to swap them with my current ones. Unfortunately, I stripped a lug nut in the process. At this point I started swearing out loud and shouting. When I realized I was shouting obscenities, I stopped and looked around hoping no one would hear me. Unfortunately, my neighbor, a wonderful Christian single old lady cracked open her backyard door to let her dog out. Yep, that was embarrassing.

I wasn’t going to make it to work today no matter how much I tried. I emailed work telling them what was going on and apologized. I called a local mechanic and got an appointment to remove the stripped lug nut. I decided to keep my back two summer tires on, since the back driver’s side one was stuck on. I called a collision shop, and the insurance agency to find out what to do next.

I drove all over the place like this – with mismatched tires – to the collision center, to the parts store, and to the mechanic shop to get my poor car back in shape again. Unfortunately, the parts for my car are on backorder for a month – so it won’t be getting fixed anytime soon. However, the mechanics were able to remove the stubborn lug nut without a charge, and also loosened all the rest of the bolts on the back two wheels. I drove home and swapped them out for the final two winter tires as my final, and for the first time, successful, act of the day.

I sure hope tomorrow goes better.

But as bad as the last 2 days have been, I have to admit – it’s been fun being in the real world again. It was great meeting my neighbor for the first time, even though it was over smashed cars, and it was fun to see my old mechanic and experience his wild sense of humor again. It was great seeing my cowboy neighbor again, although next time I hope I will be able to communicate in English. It was heart-warming to talk to the body shop mechanic about his baby girl that prevented him from getting the same car I have – his dream car, but by the smile on his face, you could tell he was more than happy with the situation. It was wonderful to talk to the shop manager about his trips to the local drag-racing track where he and I both have been many times – racing our cars and bikes for all they’re worth.

The world is full of so many amazing people outside my small sphere of influence. It’s too bad it takes small tragedies in my life to make contact with them.

    2 Responses to “Myth gluttony and my diet”

    1. John Remy

      Jonathan, I’m sorry that you’ve had a rough time, and I’m glad that you can still see the silver lining on this dark cloud. I, for one, think that you are one of these “many amazing people” and am glad for the little web tendril that’s made you an influence in my life. 🙂

      P.S. Hey, that preview function really is handy! (you commented about it but I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet) I’m going to have to add it soon…

      Reply to this comment.
    2. Jonathan
      Author Comment

      Thanks Jon!
      Things since have gotten even worse – I just had emergency gall bladder surgery and now I think I’m coming down with a fever after being home for 2 days…

      Reply to this comment.

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