Sitting in the MOT waiting room, I’m watching the rain pour down. But my spirit is buoyant.
A couple of hours ago I was cleaning my hands in Swarfega.
When you can reach happiness washing oil from your hands, things are probably not too bad. The oil was off the car brakes.
Now I know all the brakes have at least four millimetres of friction material remaining.
That kind of knowledge gives a feeling of peace while driving hard when it’s raining.
And knowing that I did a good job brings a sense of quiet satisfaction.
Washing my hands with Swarfega is a long-established routine that permits such reflection.
Yesterday, I finally got around to paying a visit to a friend. I walked the couple of miles from work to her flat, calling for bottles of hooch on the way.
There’s something about having time to talk over a few drinks.
We covered the decades and crossed the world as the hours streamed over our heads. She turned on the light as darkness fell.
While saying goodnight to catch my train, apropos of old mix-tapes I dropped the name of a friend of mine.
A friend from many years past – far removed from the brightly echoing tiles of her landing. A friend from another life.
“He’s my step-son” she said without an “Oh, by the way”. I fell down. Stood up. Fell down again.
No one noticed.
We’d invaded each other’s memories without so much as an “Excuse me”. I delayed enough for an incredulous stare, a brief hug then ran for my train.
The rain lashed. Lightning flashed. The railway broke.
I arrived home hours later, driven by a bloke from Somalia in a death-trap taxi with noisy diff.
And now the rain has stopped. The car will fail its MOT (I just know it) and yet I’m mysteriously buoyed.
Through the wonders of Facebook, my friends are in touch. Friended, in fact. All from a totally random act.
I contemplate camping and yet more rain, as I drive the car home, MOT’d.
I think I’ll settle for frozen vodka, a night on the sofa and a good book to read.
The pursuit of happiness.
It need not always be hot pursuit. Sometimes, if you quietly wait, happiness walks in and gives itself up.
© Copyright Kevin Buckle 2013