I hit a pothole and popped my front tire. My mechanic recommended I go to Marvin’s Tire Shop to replace it so I did. I called them to make an appointment but the receptionist said I didn’t need one.
“Come anytime,” she said.
“Wow, thanks.” I said. “I’ll be there in ten.”
I grabbed a book (Morning Haiku by Sonia Sanchez) and headed over there. I figured I’d have to wait for at least an hour.
I figured wrong. You don’t even get out of your car!
When you pull into the lot, someone comes up to your window like the roller-skating waitresses on Happy Days. In my case, it was a man and he was wearing sensible shoes. Anyway, I didn’t know this sort of customer service still existed. When he appeared carside, I was so startled that I forgot how to roll down my windows. I ended up opening my car door to communicate because I’m an idiot.
By the time I figured out how to speak to another human, he already saw the spare and knew why I was there. He directed me to pull into the garage and one of the mechanics got to work.
He jacked up the car — this next part is important — with me in it.
I was mortified! With each pump, I felt things jiggle that I had never before felt jiggle. The new sensation triggered my doubts and insecurities.
Oh my god. Was I supposed to get out? Is the man going to die from the extra weight?
I looked ahead to the car in front of me and saw that the driver was still inside.
Phew! Phew, phew, phew!
Once my initial shock wore off, I cracked open my book but quickly realized I was too excited to concentrate on literature, especially the corny-ass forward.
From the moment i opened the book and read the first haiku, i slid onto the floor and cried and was changed. i had found me. -Sonia Sanchez
Good for you, but I don’t want to read this book now.
I looked up and found the poetry my soul was craving.
I saw another mechanic lift and dip a dusty old tire into a big tub of what looked like a warm, sudsy solution. When he pulled it out, the tire was as shiny as a seal.
Then another vehicle pulled up behind me and I saw another mechanic jack up that car with the driver still in it. I know it’s rude to stare, but I had to watch. I turned around in my seat and observed the driver jiggle with each pump. It is the most satisfying thing I have ever seen.
When I turned back around, my mechanic was already done! He released the jack. The van and I wafted down to the ground. It was the first time I have ever wafted. And as I wafted, I felt all of my cares and worries drift away. Bliss.
Until today, I had never been inside a professional garage. Jiffy Lube, sure, but nothing like this. I’ve always been sent to a boring waiting area or if it was at K-Mart or Wal*Mart, they’ve told me to “go shop.” This was so much better.
Thank you for reading my blog. If you’re local, I hope if and when you get a flat tire you head over to Marvin’s! -Connie