Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Ticking Away the Moments That Make Up a Dull Day

Time doesn't fly away from us, it slides out from beneath our feet.

At the gas station, where I paused to buy one more carton of self-loathing at a dear, sin-tax-inflated price, a young woman in DIY-compliant uniform filled up a Mitsubishi's fuel tank. She wore black jeans, various gleaming metallic accoutrements, a black hoodie, and her hair, too, was colored an improbable shade of black. Her nose might have been pierced; I'm going to say it was, so picture it with me.

I did a subtle double-take; there was nothing terribly important about her refueling, nothing terribly striking about her or her car, and yet something pulled me up short. Her car, the Mitsubishi, wasn't terribly small and seemed an awfully nice, less than fuel-efficient vehicle for a woman who looked like she favored Cars Are Coffins stickers. More importantly, the car looked entirely too expensive for a girl in torn black jeans -- a loaner from mom and dad, perhaps. I smirked inwardly, not because it was justified but just because that's what I do: I smirk, alot.

Here's the thing: as I walked into the convenience store, sorting through possible reasons the hipster and her car caught my eye, it dawned on me: the car isn't worth much; it's close to ten ears old. It is the sort of car a poor hipster drives -- maybe not a signature member of that class, but a member just the same.

And in this way, the mind's nefarious tendency towards fixing one time in mind as the present and denying the existance of aggregating evidence to the contrary revealed itself. My time, Moon Time, had stopped moving nearly ten years ago, at least as far as Mitsubishi goes. That particular iteration of the car in question remained in my head a $20,000-plus mid-sized sedan, and so it had remained, even though the model has not issued in anything even remotely resembling that form in at least five years.

Returning to the tarmac after completing my transaction, I noticed that the car was missing a hubcap, shod in cheap tires, and looked its age.

It's impossible not to wonder in what years my other sensibilities are fixed, and what it is, if anything, I view in light of the age it actually is. I'm certain about one thing: I don't see myself for my true age, and I thank my stars for that salutary delusion.

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Blogger Sunshine Coyote said...

I can imagine you wearing that smirk - for that instant when your eyes cut the periphery with a bit of thought induced furrowing, the innate need to overlay what is seen to fit in what is known. How fascinating then the stronger need question our own modes.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

we are all victims of our assumptions, jumpers to foregone conclusions. it's insightful of you to have spotted that in the span of five minutes...i refuse to see some of these things after half a lifetime

3:23 PM  

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