Tuesday, May 25

five dollar compliments

a funny day, this has been.

the first guy came up to me as I was half in, half out of my car. he said, 'I'm sorry to even ask, but I've run out of gas just barely just now and I'm trying to get a hold of my wife, she's not far away-- if you even have fifty cents?'

and despite my confusion, I gave him a five dollar bill. a pretty cheap good deed, all things considered.

this oil spill. there are a lot of breathtaking photographs of it out there. like these.
which is of more concern, I wonder:  that all that oil is threatening to end the lives of a thousand different species of cute defenseless animals? or that all that oil is being wasted in the Gulf of Mexico instead of being refined and sold to fuel all our machines?

after my small adventure at the gas station, I stopped at the library to return Jasper Fforde's Shades of Gray (wonderful book), Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn (couldn't get through the second chapter), and Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games (meh, implausible first-person narrative). as I left (with The Possession of Mr. Cave, In the Garden of Iden, and the DVD of Tuesdays with Morrie under my arm) I realized I had locked my keys in my car.

the fact that I, without my car, become a fairly helpless, stranded girl is pretty depressing.

it isn't even just the car. it's the keys. it's the gasoline. it's money and time and daylight. any number of small excisions could render my life countless times harder than it is now.

so I thank karma I've been so lucky, so far.

half a dozen phone calls later, I'm still sitting out in the sun on a bench, wandering into the first few pages of The Possession of Mr. Cave, when an elderly gentleman walks up to me and asks me 'maybe you know-- where have all the old people gone?'

'where have they gone?' I say.

'yes,' he replies, 'there was supposed to be some senior citizens' event around here--'

'I don't know... I haven't noticed any.'

he laughs. 'yeah, you're too young to notice.'

'probably,' I agree.

'how old are you anyway, twenty?'

when I admit to being just a little ways older than that, he tells me I look awfully good for my age. and I throw a happy 'thank you...' after him as he ducks into the library.

a very funny day. yep.


Deb said...

I trust that one or more of those phone calls got you a ride or an extra key (or both), and that now all is well?

amelia said...

of course.
everything worked out. and I was only twenty minutes late to work.

Chris said...

'which is of more concern, I wonder: that all that oil is threatening to end the lives of a thousand different species of cute defenseless animals? or that all that oil is being wasted in the Gulf of Mexico instead of being refined and sold to fuel all our machines?'

If I was any one of those thousands and thousands of creatures, even if I wasn't cute, I'd be pretty concerned about that first thing. Even if I only had enough awareness to be concerned about it once it was sticking my feathers together and getting in my lungs.

The environmental damage strikes me as a completely different league of waste. The really concerning part is that so much damage has ultimately been done in the process of fueling our machines, most of which are not of critical importance to us. They're luxuries. Of course, this was the result of an accident and probably negligence and inadequate safety measures, but I think we'd have to be pretty dumb just to try and pick up where we left off. If our main concern is to start drilling again as soon as possible just so people can keep fueling their cars, we seem to be ready to do just that. But look at all the photos we're getting and it's hard to think of a more obvious way of being told, you're doing it wrong.

What you had to suffer for temporarily having no car will in the worst case only have rendered your life fractionally harder than it had been. An inconvenience, perhaps, but you'd probably have found your way to the beach eventually. And it's lucky for you the currents didn't take the oil that way.

Glad to hear everything worked out, though. :P

Chris said...

P.S. That elderly gentleman's first line is awesome.

amelia said...

cue my father quoting Emerson: society everywhere and the conspiracy. surrendering so much in exchange for convenience and security. it's going to take a lot of work to break ourselves out of it. hopefully we don't wait too much longer.