Sunday, August 12, 2012

Maniac, Maniac

Yesterday morning I rushed outside in my shortest shorts, the ones I only sleep in, after a moving truck pulled up next door. Two men were headed toward the back of the truck, presumably to load or unload something. It was eight o’clock, and the truck was blocking my garage—the very situation that turns me into a maniac.

Was I going anywhere at that hour? No. That hardly mattered; my chest got tight the minute I spotted the truck. My heart rate took a flying leap at the thought of being stuck two hours later when I had to leave in the car for my nail appointment. Don’t even try to apply logic to that.
I live in attached housing and don’t have my own driveway, just a garage and the one space in front of it. The people who live on my street understand the parking parameters, but visitors often don’t. They block residents’ garages and occasionally impede the flow of traffic on the street. Delivery and service vehicles are generally forgiven; we all need those once in a while. So why did the moving truck send me into a tailspin?
I suspect it’s a touch of claustrophobia. My morning coffee was a likely contributor, too, considering the time of day. Finally, those of us who tend to be territorial don’t do well with vaguely defined spaces that border on public spaces. There you go: perfectly reasonable explanations for why I burst out the front door like a psycho in my short shorts, jumped off the porch step, and cleared the ground cover like a rabbit.
Afterward I pictured myself running across the yard with my car keys like someone in a cartoon. Attack mode was a new low. Normally I just seethe at the offending vehicle from inside the house and no one’s the wiser. How many times could I charge across the lawn without gaining an unfortunate reputation in this small neighborhood? I’ve lived here for fifteen years, and so far the worst thing my neighbors have called me was a hermit.
Even hermits need to take the car out of the garage.
Maybe everybody has a hot button, something that drives them so crazy they have to fix it now. Maybe yours wouldn’t even bother someone else. My nail technician says hers is getting the “sticky stuff” from the gel polish process on her hands. Twice yesterday she stopped doing my manicure to grab for a paper towel.
I’ve been thinking about how to contain my blocked-garage mania. The obvious way would be to stay in the house when it happens. Another would be to cut my caffeine intake, so yesterday I stocked up on the K-Cup solution, Half-Caff. Fortunately (bright spot alert), it turned out that the moving truck was not settling in for the day. In fact, ten minutes after seeing the raving maniac in my front yard, it was gone.

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