Wednesday, February 02, 2011

How God works

Thanks in part to some upcoming changes in my life, I have been really busy lately. Too busy to get my workout on at the Y. I usually go three days a week at minimum, so to go four days without going makes me feel gross.

I've been working day shifts all week, so I get the rare treat of having options after work. So, of course, a historic blizzard has to smack the entire Midwest, covering it in a two-foot-thick blanket of snarl. I live across town from my job, so the commute was long and at times frightening. The windshield wouldn't stay clear for anything, but it was a moot point because there was nothing to see but white anyway. I had to keep checking my mirrors just to reassure myself that I did, in fact, still have functioning eyes.

Things only got worse throughout the day, and co-workers were imploring me not to take the drive back home if I had any other options. As it turns out, I had one: a married couple I'm friends with (who live a few blocks from my workplace) offered their place for the night. I take them up on their offer. One of my co-workers who lives near me (and had just braved a ride home) called and reminded me to stay with them, because she didn't think my car would handle the full trip home. I jokingly scoffed, but after warming up my car and scraping off the kudzu-like snow for half an hour (going through my second pair of shoes in the process), I concurred.

I've been to my friends' apartment several times. It's a short, easy drive from my job. I looked forward to hunkering down there for the night, hanging out, playing games and eating some healthy cuisine. 

A couple of things I hadn't considered: 1) most of the short drive is uphill; 2) the city was still trying to clear major arteries and had yet to come anywhere near these deserted downtown streets; 3) the city seemed to operate under the admittedly understandable premise that no one left their bedrooms that day, and anyone who did deserved anything they got.

In other words, the downtown streets had become canvasses for the lovely natural work of art known as snow dunes. And my car is about as effective against those as, well, a dune buggy. I stalled close to five times in a three-block radius. At one point, I stalled in front of a frat house, and a frat guy banged on my driver's side door. This marked the only time I was ever relieved to hear someone doing that in this area.

"Where are you headed?" Frat Boy asked. 
"Anywhere that I can not get stuck," I replied. 
"No, seriously."
"Seriously. I'm trying to get to South Avenue, so however I can get there without this repeatedly happening."
"Well, you're not gonna find any place like that." (Someone's local.)

To his credit, Frat Boy pushed me out of my predicament, and I managed to make it nearly a full block before I got stuck again, right in the geographic middle of an intersection. This time, no one helped, and I had to shovel my way out. The shovel cracked nearly in half from the weight of the snow.

Then it happened again a few blocks later. Two guys noticed, but one kept on walking. The other guy offered, but I told him with resignation that it wasn't necessary because it'd just happen again in 10 feet. Didn't even break stride.

I decided to abort the plan to visit my friends and head on home, which sits along a major artery. The "close" option was taking far too long and soaking up too much of my tolerance. It was my second consecutive night of scuttling fun plans. Thanks, blizzard!

After a relatively uneventful commute on the expressway (save for the stranded Jeep with oversized wheels that appeared to have lost one), I get as close as three feet from a parking space when my car gets stuck in the middle of the parking lot. Really, really stuck. So stuck that I actually leave it on two separate occasions to go inside to warm up, get some water, etc. As you might expect, no one noticed, even with the hazard flashers in full strobe.

So I spent the next 45 minutes shoveling snow out of the undercarriage of my car, working hard to ensure I could see the bottom half of my wheels once again. I tried to move the car about 38 times, but it wouldn't budge, so I'd shovel some more. And some more. Shovel down, foot plant, slight bend, swing arms over my shoulder and toss snow. It didn't take too long to feel sore and worn out. It didn't help that my left ankle is all purple and swollen from a Sunday flag-football injury. Eventually, a neighbor walked out and helped push my car (very gradually) into the adjacent spot. We shared a snide laugh about how much our other neighbors suck in times of need.

So I got a long-overdue workout, a natural ice pack for my ankle and a chance to vent about how terrible everything is to someone who understands. And that's how God works.

And that's why I'm agnostic.


venessalewis said...

No wonder you hate snow.

Anonymous said...

Ian don't mess with God. It can always get worse.

rhonda said...

if god's playing around on blogger while the world goes to hell, he can kiss my ass anyway.

venessalewis said...

*Giggle. Is Anonymous your mom Ian?!