Thursday, April 22, 2010

Frost Alert!

I don't remember one the other night when there was frost on the cars in the morning. But this is a beautiful clear evening, no hint of volcanic ash, and so the cold is predictable. Of course, I might not have been paying attention last time.

This will be a kind of preliminary inventory for the morning's writing (tomorrow!) since my mind doesn't work as well evenings. But I am a bit afraid I'll lose it all before morning without the inventory.

I spent part of the morning taking apart my car's heating system (again!) because the heat isn't quite reliable. The dealer had told me that the heater core was clogged, and I'd found, remember, some Internet good Samaritan who threw hogwash over that notion. I was triumphant, but then the heat would go in and out. It was a bit baffling.

So, I rounded up the pieces of this and that which would be required to really see if the thing is clogged. I figured I was dealing with my own wishful thinking, avoiding the obvious, that the dealer was right and I need a new heater core. It was actually fun trying to imagine what I needed from among the stuff in my much attenuated apartment scale collection, after having tossed so much in the dumpster upon my recent  move.

Just about at the time I was set to go, I dropped a part irretrievably into the engine compartment and ran out of time before I was scheduled to show up at a friends' church where I was helping to regularize their computer network.

I'll defer that story for a bit, because it gets a bit messy, but the overall burden of this inventory is that, after picking up the few odds and ends from a nearby auto parts store for just a few bucks on the way home, I was ready to go. Hose connected, water on, no clog. None. Clear as the day she was born, and no evidence of debris (I was collecting the wash in a bucket so that I could inspect it).

OK, so now I have this sinking feeling that my trusty dealer is telling me stories, either to drum up some business, although they say the repair shop is doing just great because if people aren't buying cars, then they are fixing the ones they have; or because they really didn't know what was wrong either, but figured that within the labor to replace the core, they'd find out.

Baffling, in any case. So, I purged the air, put it back together, and now I've got even more heat than I did the other, triumphant, day. But I've got to drive around a bit to dry out the spillage, and figure I'd better go back to the parts store to get some antifreeze to replace the ullage.

Well, this becomes a goose chase of sorts, because there's still something against "foreign" in car parts stores, and my handy belt attached smartphone tells me don't be fooled that the stuff they sell is equivalent, but just for fun I tried quite a number of different stores, all with the same scant results. I ended up decided I'd just go to the dealer. Not my trusty dealer, but the more nearby one whoi I've never trusted.

Meanwhile, I'm adding up all the retrospective clues, adding up to doubts, while getting lost and listening to this fascinating show on NPR about some syndrome which can make people trust everyone even when they shouldn't, and how this hormone, cytosin, also relates to stress and that's why people mistrust even the government at record levels, and I'm thinking, yeah, also there's no God anymore to trust, and no wonder oxytocin levels are down.

But you know, there are two kinds of trust. It's possible, though that the one kind, where the ground falls out from under you, and the other, when you get betrayed, both have the same hormonal impact. I know they do for me. Like when someone sent me this bogus Glenn Beck video doctored with information from my Facebook profile (which I'd allowed in) and then like a magic trick or like when you realize you've been had by someone you trusted, I could feel all these hormonal things happening to my body. Like what would it really feel like if I were Glenn Beck's target.

What would it feel like if I were guilty of being black. But you know the untrusted dealer, instead of selling me a $30 jug of antifreeze, which they could easily have done, gave me the one from the shop and let me top it off myself, and so now what do I do. Who do I trust?

And I'm driving home and there's full on heat, and I'm pretty happy, but I keep testing it to be sure, and it stays on unlike the other day . . .

. . . until I get off the highway and there must be a new airlock because the heat disappears again. And now I have no certainty about who or what to trust, and no good theory in my brain. At least my hormones aren't raging.

OK, I'm going to have to pick this up in the morning, since I'm not as clear at night. But I do know for certain that there is a gem of something or other in here somewhere.

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