I sometimes drive this car around.
Without the nice rack on top, of course. It gets somewhere up towards 40 miles per gallon and we rarely have to fill er' up, which is just why we got er'. Right now, however, she's got the windshield wiper fluid light on. It's not in a constant "on" state; it just blinks when I slam on the breaks, go up a hill, go down a hill, turn to the right, turn to the left, go over a frost heave, turn on the radio, fasten my seat belt, take a breath, or sneeze. IT IS DRIVING ME CRAZY. I realize it's there to tell me I'm straddling the line of safety. To fill it is to be safe. To not fill it is to be irresponsible. Every time it blinks I'm reminded of what is empty. I think if the light just stayed on, I wouldn't think twice about all that is missing in my life. But since it sways with the waning blue juice in the plastic jug, I'm constantly reminded of the deficiencies in my life. I know I'm reading into it. But am I going to fill it? No. I'll just wait until I'm on the highway and I'm behind a tractor trailer and I won't be able to see and I won't be able to pass because she just doesn't have the get up and go with all her 4 ponies and I'll have to pull into a gas station to fill er' up. I'll just wait. Because I'm good like that.
But for now, the light is in MY FACE. So when I get ready to have people over, which Paul Bunyan and I did last Saturday night, I start to worry about all the little details. And the light, the f-ing windshield wiper fluid light, was on in my mind all day long. There won't be enough chili (blinking yellow windshield), everyone will be so cold (blinking yellow windshield), no one is going to come to skate anyway because it's colder than a witch's tit out here (blinking yellow windshield), we need some lights up so people can skate from between when the sun goes down and the moon comes up (blinking yellow windshield), the fire is too far away from where everyone will be hanging out (blinking yellow windshield), etc., etc.. IT WAS DRIVING ME CRAZY.
I kept saying to myself, "Just fill it up. Just fill it up, you Hussy." And now you think I'm crazy and that's okay, because I am. "Just fill it up. Just pull over and buy some blue liquid and fill it up".
And then people started to arrive, carrying their L.L. Bean tote bags full of skates and extra clothes and snacks. And then they started to skate. And then they started to have fun. And then I see a pack of boys and they're having fun. And then I see a pack of girls and they're having fun. And the yellow light, the blinking yellow warning light, it doesn't blink. Not even when E yells out the front door to ask me where my cornstarch is (perfect time for the warning light to blink: YOU ARE DEFICIENT!! Time to go make the fondue instead of making your friends do it). Or when the moon didn't rise early enough (YOU ARE LACKING IN COMMON SENSE!! Why did you organize this party without knowing when the moon was going to rise). Or when kids came piling out of the basement of doom, where we have apparatus set up and designed just so they kill themselves, or at least crack their heads open (INSUFFICIENT PLAY ZONE!! Why would you let someone else's child down there to die unattended?)
Yea, but none of that. No yellow blinking light, where usually there is a yellow blinking windshield.
I filled it up. I filled up my cup. And not with beer. It runneth over with friends willing to make fondue, stir fondue, put food out, put food away, put baby to sleep, to cheer my children on, to help the wounded ice their wounds, to skate with me by the light of the full moon.
I skated that night at midnight. By myself. The pond heaved with excess. I wondered what my life would be like if I lived in Newark, or Detroit, or Orlando. I wouldn't be able to skate by the light of the moon. I mean I might be able to. In a small outdoor rink, that didn't crack or pop. But it wouldn't be able to hold all my friends. At once. Or all their children. At once. We'd have to take turns. And it just wouldn't work, not without a warning light. A big one that said WANTING (more space for friends). Yea, I'm lucky I don't need that. No yellow blinking windshield here. We're full. We got fluid, spilling over, freezing in the light of the full moon.