Not long ago, I found myself in a VW dealership waiting for a headlight bulb to be replaced. I had to make an appointment for this job that I thought, at first, I could do myself. I mean, how many Aggies does it take to replace a lightbulb anyway? Right?

I could see it. I could touch it with the tips of two fingers. Alas – I could not grab it. I tried it all: yoga, meditation, Vaseline. It even crossed my mind to give up drinking. That’s when I called the dealership for help. After all, dealing with a car dealership is the next worse thing to giving up alcohol.

So, I am waiting for this “job” to be done and as usual I have brought along a book of poems to strengthen my hold on reality. It’s an anthology edited by a guy upon whom I place some respect.

The first poet I read is dying quite dramatically in a frozen pond, while another, according to his bio. in the back of the book, teaches at an unknown college somewhere in Middle America and is, if my math is correct, in his 50’s and still wages daily warfare with his long departed father. Another contributor is trying to make sense of his existential dilemma, which is waiting far too long for his lunch in a roadside diner. He is convinced that the cooks are talking about him. I think he’s right.

I put my book down and look around the room. There is an even half dozen of us waiting for our fine German automobiles to be serviced. We are variously engaged. A couple of the group are reading. One is punching a hand-held device vigorously, another is soundly sleeping and there is this guy in a suit sitting with his back to the corner working on a computer with a business-like passion. Impressive. But his glasses reveal his hypocrisy in the reflection of his game of solitaire.

We are seated around this boring twelve foot rug that is held in place by our feet. It’s mostly red. There are 14 ( by actual count ) different geometrical designs in it, which, I am certain are of Bavarian origin. It is not a “message” piece as in Navaho rugs, and seems to be completely meaningless, unless you can find comfort in angles, lines, circles and arcs. It is at this point that I realize I am the only person in the room who seems to be aware of the rug. I guess it worked – at least on me.

I was surprised when the service manager called my name. So soon, I asked? He smiled. Easy, he said. Easy for you, I said. As I turned to leave, I asked, did you have to use Vaseline?

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