I ran out of gas AGAIN.
I was cruising down Mt. Vernon Rd., the thoughts in my rather unique brain ricocheting like raquet balls
Ilikemynewearringsfromfarmersmarket – THWAK – Ibetkidsdidn’tdochoreswhileIwasgone – POW – don’tforgettogetmilk – POP – needtonapbefore3rdshifttonight – THWOK – imisstom – SMACK – whysomehydrantsredsomegreen – CRACK – wonderwhatseesterisdoingtoday –
when my car started sputtering and jerking.
The fuel warning light doesn’t work + I’m Dory = I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve ran out of gas in this damn car.
I coasted onto a side street and rolled to a stop. I opened my trunk to get out the gas can I put there the last time I ran out of gas. But, of course, it wasn’t there.
I started walking.
Oh, but it gets better and better, because the gas station didn’t have a loaner gas can. I sighed deeply and started walking towards home to get the gas can to get the gas to get the car going again. On the way, I texted Tom with the full intention that he would commiserate with me, or more likely, mock me. But, instead, he pulled up and rescued me, my knight in shining tan LHS.
As we talked, it came up that he was worried that he wouldn’t have time to get the Mission Pastor-Barb-clean (you know Gramma-clean? Yeah, well, Gramma’s got nothin‘ on Pastor Barb) before she got there at 5:30pm. I said as soon as I got gas, I’d come in and help. So I rescued him right back.
The Mission got clean. We lived happily ever after. Well, happily couple hours later. Because this is real life, and Tom had to decide what to make for dinner, and I realized that I only had a few hours to nap to make it through my 12am-8am shift. But, okfine, whatev.
I told you that story to tell you this one.
I was on my way to get gas today.
I was thinking, ok, refill the gas can, fill the tank, go to Mission, clean stuff, nap, etc., when I spotted a fuzzball no bigger than a softball in the middle turning lane of this five lane road. I slowed up, and squinted as I got closer. It was a small, scared kitten, just laying in the middle of the road like he would lay on a windowsill, perhaps with a broken leg or worse. He was a common hazel-and-black short-haired ball of askeered.
The world went into slow motion plus extreme close-up, and as I went by, I saw him turn his head and mouth a tiny, afraid MEW.
I almost pulled into the turning lane, but traffic was really busy and it would have been borderline dangerous to stomp the brakes and veer over. I thought, ok, so I’ll fill up the can and the tank and then on the way back I’ll stop and see if I can help him.
It was only a couple blocks away, so it wouldn’t take long. I pulled in, refilled the gas can, filled the gas tank, and pulled back out into traffic. You know what was next on my To Do list. That’s right– Rescue Askeered Furball.
But I’m Dory.
And, OOOoooOOOooo, something shiny!
And, I completely forgot that item, JUST THAT QUICKLY, and went to the next one. Go To Mission and Rescue Tom Right Back.
CleanCleanClean, DriveHome, SkipDinner, and NappyNap.
I was just dozing off and something stirred inside me, it felt like deja vu or when the name of that actor is right on the tip of your brain.
Then a flashback of Askeered Furball MEWing punched me in the brain.
Oh, God, I forgot. Oh, hell, it’s too late.
And that should be the end of that, right? Right?
Except I couldn’t stop thinking about him. The same flashback played overandoverandover. I’d send my thoughts one way, and then they’d circle back to a silent MEW.
I woke up a few hours later after a fitful and unsatisfying nap, melancholy and out of sorts.
He’s haunting me. HAUNTING ME, mah peepull.
So, in the same way that misery loves company and someone with an earworm will pass it on, I decided to write about it and hand it on over to you.
But that story, by itself? At least, a little waste of time. At most, a notch below interesting. As I was driving to work, I mulled it over in my brain, swirling it around like a wine taster evaluating a merlot. Do I like this? What’s in here? How will it finish? Will it leave an aftertaste behind? Isn’t that other guy who’s wine-tasting supposed to be my designated driver? How much does a cab run these days?
Then, the Askeered Furball punched me one more time, right to the heart. A little ninja kitteh karate-chop direct to the sternum.
How many times have I come across someone wounded, hurting, alone, scared? And I want to slow down and help, but the world is rushing around me, and I’m like a fish trying to struggle upstream. So I say to myself, I’ll just come back. Really soon. And I’ll help. I’ll Rescue and Comfort and Save the Day.
But I’m Dory.
And, OOOoooOOOooo, something shiny!
And, I forget and move on to the next item.
I don’t MEAN TO.
But I do.
“But Dory,” you ask… “Dory, when you say ‘But I do’ …do you mean ‘But I do forget and move on’ or ‘But I do MEAN TO?'”
Which is a really big question when you’re alone at four o’clock in the morning.