September 21, 2005

Perfectionism?

So I went for an hour and half bike-ride today and sweated my rear off. Despite tomorrow being the first day of autumn, it's hot in Southern Illinois. Big surprise. At least I haven't ventured to the "winter beard" yet. Did the math. For a 150 pound person, you burn 300 calories in a half hour biking. I weigh more than that and biked three times that long, so I'll assume that I burned 1000 calories and sweated out more water than my modest bike bottle holds. That's not bad. Despite being hot as hell, sweaty and tired by 2:30, it felt good. Felt good to do something. I've been feeling fat-assed, lazy and wasteful lately. It was good to do something about it. I honestly wanted to go for another ride before dinner, but the old legs were just not having it. That's Okay, though. Then I saw what appeared to be a ding on the door of our car. I shouldn't admit to spending an hour (actually more like eighty minutes) outside looking at it from different angles, stopping only because the sun went down. I shouldn't admit to going back out in the darkness to feel for it. I could see something, but I could feel nothing, and there's no reason for me to go back out and look to anyone who looks on as if I'm contemplating breaking into my own humble car. See, the Mrs. is pretty sure that there's something wrong with the paint that plays a trick on the eyes in that spot. I know that Ford's computers half-assed the paint on that car. For being seven months old, there are a lot of bubbles between the clear-coat and black paint, and it's not put on evenly at all, etc. Not to mention what happens when bug guts get baked on a black car in direct sunlight all day. I've become Okay with the paint stuff. It happens. To hell with it. But dents from jerks I am not ready for, not since what happened to the other Focus. But what's up with that? I'm not a car nut and never have been. I don't even change the oil myself. I know how, but I still don't. I seldom bother to wash it, and my interior-care gear has never been used. But I get so protective -- obsessive. I can't explain it. My wife thinks it's because I have not been working very much and that my mind looks for something to think about. Not sure if that's it exactly. I think it's probably some control issue or something. I have tons of stories about what a perfectionist I was as a child. But when I stopped caring about my grades in high school a long time ago and stopped being in shape and not a fat ass hairy guy with a bad haircut (think Dignan from Bottle Rocket), I really began to hesitate to identify myself as a perfectionist. What kind of perfectionist has two B's on their graduate school transcript? What kind of perfectionist has a beer gut that has nothing to do with beer? And all that. Are perfectionists only so about certain things, though? Maybe that would be me, then. I'm anal about the dumbest things, but I let important things slide. Backwards, yeah. Stupid, yeah. Pointless, yeah. The solution is not necessarily to lose myself in work. I did that during the first year that the Mrs. and I had the long-distance relationship thing in college. It kept me from thinking about how shitty things were, but it also kept me from dealing with it. Besides, doing nothing but philosophy and loathing when you're 19 is not good for your sanity (very good for getting the fundamentals of Western philosophy though). I realize that I'll have to act differently. You can't just change the way you experience the world and the way you act toward it through thinking about it. I'm not naive enough to believe that's possible, that I can reason my way out of this little rut. I don't have the life I want. Neither did Henry D. T. So he did something about it. I could take the tire-iron to the car and solve it's metallic perfection right then and there. I could vote to get rid of it. But I don't really think the car is the problem, just a manifestation of whatever the problem is. The problem. I suppose I should figure that out somehow. What it is, and all that.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I'm not a car nut and never have been."

I think you may officially be a car nut now.

chris said...

he's not a car nut, just obsessed in very parculiar ways about his cars (not including "whitey")

where/when did you take that picture of me man? is that me?

Pragmatik said...

That's the night that we went to the library to shoot photos. I think I have the one you were taking on the computer, too.

I miss Whitey. No radio or AC, but that damned car was a tank!

neighbor girl said...

The problem is one part boredom, one part dissatisfaction with rural life, and one part not owning a snow chicken (send me your address, fucker), shaken- not stirred. It can all be solved by dressing in a style similar to your gnomes and adopting a Scottish accent. Get on that!

Pragmatik said...

True, there are few problems that cannot be solved with a snow chicked;)
I can't wait for winter and more of your snow chicken photos!