Thursday, May 18, 2006

coping with the little things that go wrong

Three flat tires on my way to work. Actually the third occurred as I was trying to get back home. I failed to find the source of puncture the first two times. Didn't tempt fate. Took the car to work today. Take pride in having lost only 45 minutes of work time. (Ok, maybe 50 or 55.) The photo is not me, but shows what I probably look like in the same situation. I can remember when, years ago, I'd quickly fall into despair when things went wrong -- that or a helpless raging against fate. I'm more methodical and less emotional in my advanced maturity. But still, I have to guard against the mental blur that seems always to accompany adversity -- it's hard, for example, to allow enough time for the glue to dry. Putting the patch on the tube before the glue is set just causes more agony and delay, but it's difficult to keep a level of rationality that provides that patience. And difficult to keep sufficiently focused so that you don't leave stuff behind when you're ready to roll again (how awful to be without a pump, e.g.).

I've been getting flats lately, not all from the same causes (puncture in this case, faulty tubes in other recent instances). Passers by are generally sympathetic. A few weeks ago, in the city, while changing a tube, a guy came out and offered me a chair to sit in.

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