THE ZEN OF AUTO PARTS
Auto parts are a lot like body parts, you got to have most of your parts or your whole thing won’t run. So, I got this job delivering auto parts to garages and auto repair shops in this semi rural valley I was born and raised in. Driving around my valley, I’m learning about nooks and crannies I had heard of as a child but didn’t have a clue about their actual whereabouts.
Now their location is of paramount importance. Some auto or truck is sick and the automotive doctors have determined a replacement part is needed and I am driving, safely, to save a sick puppy. I am riding to the rescue in my clown colored car to make two people happy: the vehicle’s owner and the mechanic. I have a mission. I am a happy servant.
I use to complain that someone should make a car that never needed fixing. Nothing is made to last! Planned obsolescence I called it. Then I looked in the mirror. Whoever created this universe didn’t make anything to last. The automakers are only mirroring nature.
Part-time auto parts delivering fits my retirement to a “T”. It greases my income, and gets me out into the world so that I can swirl in its weather and play with everyone: even co-workers and customers. I have a good time no matter what the weather is physically, socially or financially. That’s what us retired guys should do. Have a good time.
It’s written in the Declaration of Independence, that stuff about the pursuit of happiness. If you haven’t gotten happy while sliding down your last slope; then, When? So it’s my constitutional duty to have a good time no matter what the weather throws my way.
It’s my solemn duty as a guy on the way out, to go out laughing, or, at least, smiling. So, here’s my secret recipe, given to me by the ancient sages of antiquity; it’s simply this: Imagine having an All-Powerful Being to blame everything on! It’s not my fault or your fault that the world is the way it is. It’s that interfering, got to have it My Way, All-Powerful Thing. Shakespeare called it, a “Divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we may.”
I send all my complaints to the Maker. I also send my compliments. I hope my objections are noted but rarely do I get things my way. I blame the All-Powerful Designer, wash my thoughts of the whole matter and continue practicing happiness by being happy with my lot, whether its full of lemons or auto parts.
I get paid to look at Pennsylvania’s rolling hills in the bowels of this valley that probably once was a seabed. The sunlight plays games with my sight, blinding me one moment and then hiding for days, sending those misty tears we call clouds in the sun’s place and making me yearn for the return of the light. But I love the balance, the harmony of it all.
The streets of my childhood are filled with friendly ghosts of my past superimposed over the brief permanence of the present. I feel the undertow of the world to come. I am a child of Providence delivering auto parts.