The Bully On The Dashboard

The gauge keeps moving past that center line. My eyes are on the road, they are in the rear view mirror and now, they are on the gauge. 

Why does it keep doing this? 

A new water pump, a radiator flush and a host of new belts  have left my not so new car in a condition where my normal engine temperature is not that normal. 

Just a few degrees above 210 and I’m acting like a worried parent whose child is delirious with fever. 

My car has a fever. 

I know, I tend to obsess about things but that stems from always having to be the one in control.  I can’t help myself. This is how I’m wired. 

So I decide to invoke my new Zen Master personality, convincing myself all is good in the world and I call my service guy, having known him for years and I mention my new dilemma. 

Larry tells me to stop worrying and he reassures me that unless ‘you reach 240 and go beyond’ there is no need to fret. 

I am not in the middle of a fret. I am in an all out panic. 

I was at 212 and if I round up using my worry mathematics that is practically 250! My car is going to explode. 

My service guy knows nothing. I’m going to have to find a new service person, I need someone who will understand my needs and wants. I need someone who will keep me from overheating. I need someone who will treat my concerns with concern and not dismiss my claims as frivolous. 

The damn gauge keeps moving and just like that it goes back to 210, taunting me to believe that it is hot, but really it is not. This is a playground game from my past with my car being the bully who pushed my face into the sandbox (a story for another day…). 

Larry tells me to come see him if I am still uncomfortable and I, cordially, tell him we will speak next week. I’m better, reassured that all is well. My body temp is nearing its normal, balmy summer sweat moistness and the car is behaving. 

As I stop at a light, the needle moves again and my world is enveloped in doom.  

I’m back at the playground. 

My head is face down in the sandbox. 

I can taste the sand in my mouth. 

My blood is boiling and my overheat has begun. If I were a cartoon character my head would be red and steam would exit from my ears. 

But I’m not animated and as a mere human, I don’t have a visible temperature gauge so I just keep driving until my internal mental needle reads normal. 

If you know anything about me, this means I’m going to be driving for a long time – maybe forever



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