You often hear about how many hours one spends in his/her life in the bathroom or sleeping, but how many of them do we spend in waiting rooms? This is what I thought about as my car was being worked on today.
While the serviceman told me that my tune-up was going to take a few hours, I said this was not a problem. I had my copy of Bukowski's Hot Water Music to read and I figured this would be a good time to finish it. I did my best to concentrate on my book while a men's Wimbledon match was on the TV. I sat in this mostly white room with twenty or so red chairs around me. Plenty of people came and went, so this felt like watching a game of musical chairs in slow motion. Since I wasn't in my recliner at home, I wasn't going to fall asleep after reading four pages. Looking over to a table cluttered with US Weekly and People magazines, I was very glad that I brought along a book.
In the four hours I sat there, I kept being distracted by the dog hair on my pants. Right as I thought I had picked all of them off, I would always find another two or three in a spot I had neglected. Plus, I kept whisking dandruff off my shoulders. Sure, this was all frustrating, but this passed the time.
As I listened to the tennis match, I realized a few things about professional tennis. Since teams are not involved in singles matches, this is probably why I don't hear hardcore tennis fans talk about themselves as a part of a team. No "we won" or "we lost" here. Tennis is still a really classy sport. While there may be some arrogance with the sport, at least we don't have to watch the winners gloat with the handsign of "number one!" as champagne rolls down their heads. Lastly, I found matters odd that one of these players grunted and moaned at every single hit he did. I don't think I had ever heard that in a men's match before.
As I hear all of this, I somehow can still hear the woman next to me breathe through her congested nostrils. This made me happy that I didn't have a stuffy head and hoped that I didn't get sick right now. Then again, when is the best to get sick? Later, I hear a mother talk to two of her three children. With children, they can be very anxious in a situation like this. They're constantly asking questions and they can't sit still. Yet I wonder why do their parents always shush them whenever they speak just a little about a whisper.
When the serviceman finds me, he doesn't have the best of news. There's a leak and the car needs to be worked on in the shop for a few days. Thankfully, I get a loaner car and I should have my car back by Wednesday afternoon.
The point of all this is that even in the most boring of situations, this is better than ignoring the big problems of life. There will be a moment when I get my car back all ready to go and I'll be happy to experience this. Until then, I'll make the most of the time and know that I might have to end up back in the same waiting room on Wednesday. I have two more chapters out of Hot Water Music to read and the chances are good that I'll finish them there instead of in my recliner.