Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tap, tap; is this thing on?

Today was the day. It had been ten months since my last visit. The heat of the day would only make it harder. Always harder when hotter, at least that's what they kept telling me. My gear was packed and I was ready to venture outside. The summer heat showed no mercy as I opened my truck door. A thin line of dust covered my dash, seemingly melted into place and as innocent as fallen snow. My first act was to crank up the AC, then dive for cover as the explosion of dust from the unused vents covered the exact spot I would have been. Another crisis averted for the moment. The heat eventually gave way to pulses of cool air breezing past my face and feet. Ahhhh, one of life's little pleasures for sure. The seat hugged my body as if it had known all along that I would need the correct mixture of incline and distance. Familiarity took over; I smiled and let myself release some stress with long breaths. Maybe today would turn out OK after all.

The drive was pleasant. The motion of life I had left behind was twice as fast as I had remembered. So many many places to go...seemingly so little time. I eventually found a break in the traffic and accelerated to the appropriate speed. Things zipped by so fast; signs, cars, fences, faces. I was on some kind of rollercoaster ride, everything flashed into and out of focus as if it was never really there; like I had simply imagined it. Once I felt comfortable with the racing stream of cars I dared to look down at the speedometer; life was blazing by at a head-spinning 45 miles per hour. I smiled at my self-imposed fears and began to enjoy the scenery as I drove. I had forgotten this world actually existed. Life pre-PH; where people were always in a hurry. Things had to get done, and they had to get done fast.

I arrived at my destination wondering what news the check-up would give. I had the same doubts that plagued my mind every visit. Had I waited too long for the check-up? Would there be some problem they could have fixed if only they had caught it in time? Why did I always procrastinate? Why did I always dread the necessary? Should I have brought my wife in case I heard the worst and needed support? Time would give the answers I guess.

The wait wasn't terribly long. "Mr. Martin"? The scowl on the attendants face didn't fortell good news. "Yes", I responded. An eternity passed as the attendant looked at the computer screen and typed furiously and then again as if he had not gotten the correct answer he was looking for. "It seems....everything checked out". I visibly relaxed at the news. "Will this be debit or credit?", he asked. "Debit please", I responded. Life would go on it seems.

A multitude of thoughts crossed my mind on the way home, not the least of which was why they quit putting inspection stickers on windshields after a state inspection. Perhaps it's so you'll alway worry about whether you've waited too long for your check-up. I guess I'll never know.