When I got home from work today, I sat for a minute in my car. It was a frustrating day, bureaucracy raging out of control leaving me little time to actually be hospitable to our customers. It strikes me as odd that a company whose core business is the customer and providing that cashed up customer with the best experience their money can buy can be so bogged down in back of house paperwork. Especially when they’re willing to put the customer experience we’re providing as a lower priority to the paperwork.
But I digress. When I got home from work, I sat in my car. I parked in the driveway, next to my housemate’s boat that he’s going to do up, just over from the home made trailer that he’s going to fix up, next to the cast iron bathtub that I have somehow acquired. What I’m going to do with a cast iron bathtub when I don’t own a bathroom I haven’t worked out just yet. I thought it would be nice to set it up with a shower head over it outdoors.
I’ve got ideas of cool water rushing down at the end of a crazy hot summer day. Soaking in the tub, watching the sun go down over suburbia and then using all that water to give my herb garden a drink. It probably won’t happen, a larger number of my ideas turn out that way than I would like to think. Also, it’s damn heavy and I’m not sure how the hell I’m going to move it anywhere.
I’m sitting in my car, in the driveway. I’ve had the car less than a year and while I managed to keep it immaculately clean for a while, moving house kind of killed that. I moved a month ago. I still haven’t finished unpacking. Partly because there’s no room for my stuff until my housemate finishes installing new shelving and painting. Partly because I’m not sure just how permanent this new home is. My cat’s unhappy. That’s a big factor in my decision making process. My car is still half full of random stuff and odd bits and pieces and cleaning gear that I had with me just in case it was needed during the final inspection.
I’m sitting in my grotty car, in my driveway that looks like it belongs on a hoarders’ farm house staring into nothing. My black straw cowboy hat isn’t nothing, but I’m looking in its direction, not really at it. I don’t know if I moved, if my little car moved or if the sun had a wobble, but the sunlight flashed in the footwell on the passenger side of my car.
Generally speaking, my car doesn’t put out light shows. Sometimes when I’m getting a migraine, I’ll see flashing lights, but that’s usually a good sign that I shouldn’t be operating heavy machinery. I came into reality from my zone out to investigate.
Some industrious little spider has been making a web in the passenger side footwell of my car. I’m not a huge fan of spiders in cars. Spiders are all well and good when they’re not poisonous and are outside of my car. I’ll investigate a spider outside or in the house before freaking out, in the car I tend to just scream “redback!” and throw myself out into traffic.
I don’t think this is a redback. I think it’s just a friendly little spider. But I started thinking, how long has it been since I had a passenger in my car? How long since I had a friend riding along with me, singing along to mid ‘90’s punk and laughing at the looks we get?
A while. Quite a while.
It’s kind of because most of my friends live away. It’s kind of because hospitality is really bad for your social life. It’s kind of because I’d rather be on my own most of the time. It’s really kind of sad.
I never set out to be alone. I never set out to be a bad friend. I don’t know if the direction we ended up heading in was chosen by myself or circumstance. Probably a bit of both. Friendships often fail when one heads into new territory and one stays behind. I often think I’m still in my mid-twenties. I’m not, and I’m not sure I’d want to go back, but I haven’t found a new territory to move into. I’m not sure I want to dive into middle age just yet, I’m probably not old enough either.
Sitting in my car, in my run down driveway, I turn to my new friend and say “I’m pleased to meet you, I hope you’ll be the first of many more to come.” And I do.