I usually don’t use the blarg to vent about little things; it’s not my jam to get overly worked up over the ticky tacky stuff that happens to everybody all the time. Then again, sometimes things happen that just throw you so far off your stride it’s impossible to get past it. Douglas Adams made a fantastic comparison once (and I’m paraphrasing heavily): It’s as if you’re going along happily in third gear, and feeling how wonderfully powerful you are and how smoothly everything is going, and then as you shift into fourth gear you miss the shift and throw the vehicle into reverse, and your vehicle vomits its engine out onto the highway. I feel like that was in The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul, but I can’t be certain.
There are just some things you take for granted in your day. Some simple things that are so very simple they cannot fail. The sky, for example, will hover merrily above your head. Gravity will tug gently downward at you. People will generally be decent, if a bit self-absorbed. Doors will operate by the simple use of their handle.
But you can’t take all of those things for granted.
That’s my driver’s side door, moments after I attempted to open it to go to work this morning. I took hold of the handle and pulled it toward me in the proscribed manner, and then with a comically loud snap, it broke off in my hand, sending me windmilling wildly backward in my driveway. (I wish I could have said windmilling wildly westward, but I don’t know if that’s true and it’s a bit aggrandized.) I can still get it open, but I have to slide a finger behind that tab of remaining handle to lift up the metal bit which lies flush against the back of the handle well, and then get my other fingers under that to open the door. So it’s about five times as much work as opening a door should be, plus it looks like absolute ass. And okay, yes, first world problems and all that, but ugh. Of all the things that can go wrong with a car, you don’t expect the door handle to be anywhere near that list, or in fact on the list at all, or even adjacent to the list.
I’m not one to ascribe significance where there is none. The breaking of a door handle has no bearing on the rest of my day except for leaving me a little bit in doubt as to whether other taken-for-granted elements in the world will also cease to function as advertised. Still, this strikes me as pretty odd. I mean, I didn’t know this could happen through what I can only assume is normal use of the product.
Am I wrong? Does this happen? Are we all just in some long invisible queue waiting for the automatic certainties of the universe to decay on us? Or is all my working out paying off, so much that I now need to be really careful when I handle delicate objects?
Ahem. So this is Tuesday.