I meant to blog part two of I See Patterns the day after part one was posted. But I got busy, and my girls got sick and then I got sick, so here we are now a couple weeks later and I’m just getting to it.
Usually when my car is stolen the recovery time is three to five days. By recovery I mean, found by Portland’s finest and towed to an impound lot from which it costs me about $150 to claim.
Usually during those three to five days, I schlep my kids back and forth to school on the bus, buses, while I await word on how much it will cost to bail my car out of lock down. Then I look up and thank the gods I live in a democratic society that taxes crime victims for being robbed. My country tis of thee.
But, like I said before, usually I find the empty space and this time, this time nothing went the way it usually does.
Scott discovered the empty space, drove street by street in some valiant needle-in-a-haystack search for the car, checked the places it's been abandoned before, didn’t find it. We drove the girls to school, I took him to a bus stop and he left me with his car for the day.
Lunchtime I pick Josie up, meet Prema
and River at Cup and Saucer. Two little girls playing horses on the table, under the table, across the table. Prema and me breaking it down.
I tell her the last two times my car has been stolen I’ve had the exact same thought the night before. Thought my life is getting too easy, too comfortable. I don’t think I really want chaos all the time, but when my life gets easy, when I’m not right there on the edge, my writing isn’t nearly as good. All my best stuff comes from the intensity of struggle and I’m afraid if my life settles down I won’t be able to write anything worthwhile.
I think that and Bam. There goes my car. And, you know what, it does take me out to a place where the writing soars. Only problem is It’s not practical to sustain struggle. It wears me thin, makes me crazy.
She says yeah, the work is how to stay that present without being driven to the edge.
I don’t need it. I tell this to the universe, really I don’t want all animosity all the time.
The girls are more under the table than at it when we decide it’s time to remove them.
I just drive. Josie sleeps. Turn and zag and straight-away without thought, let the car take a route without pre-meditation. See if it will lead to my car.
Portland gray, all around raining and I just go until I’m raining too. Tears down my cheeks, little splatters on my hands, on the wheel.
Pull into parallel in front of my apartment. Not enough time to wake Josie and take her inside before heading back out to get Amelia, not enough left in me to drive aimless looking. I just sit. Head on my hands, on the wheel. Tears on everything.
Really, truly, I say, I don’t want more chaos. I can learn to be present in balance.
When the phone rings, I know who it is. Just know before opening to the call.
The voice says she’s found my car. 76th and Morrison. Can I come get it?
And I can’t. I have to be at Amelia’s school.
She can have it towed for me if I want?
NO. Please. NO.
"I can clear it out of the system and leave it for you, but then it won’t be listed as stolen and it could be taken again."
Its OK, I say, It will be there.
It always comes back to me.