Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Auto Shop

After months of driving with my windows down, panting in the heat of an air-conditioner-less car in Florida, I finally took my car to the shop. On the way there I went West instead of East, and turned down the entirely wrong street. Eventually, however, I made it to the auto repair shop--only to find that Sean, the owner, was not there. I tried to sit in the safety of my locked car, but the heat soon drove me to get out. I tried to make friends with a little frog, but he promptly urinated on my hand. Then I tried to catch a firefly, but it flew into my car and banged itself against the windows. So I leaned against a chain link fence, propped my feet on the car, and opened up my book, Icy Sparks.

As I sat there peacefully reading, a violent smell wafted up my nostrils. It flashed in my mind thoughts of squatties in Kenya. I never found out what exactly the smell came from, but I have a feeling it had something to do with the pit of murky water I had to drive through to get my car into the shop once Sean arrived.

While Sean inspected Mirabelle, a man with only two teeth asked me if I'd like to sit down. When I said yes, he led me to a rusted folding chair. Crossing my legs Indian-style, I started reading again. A moment later another man (this one with a scandalous tattoo on his leg) offered me a bottle of water. I accepted it thirstily, and guzzled the sweet coldness.

Soon after, I finished Icy Sparks and tried to focus on my homework. The scene around me, however, was far too fascinating. Hubcaps and tires lined one wall. Two huge barrels of "Used Oil" were stashed in a corner. Cars and car parts crowded the two-walled room and overflowed into the gravel lot beyond. Country music blared in the background and cobwebs hung from the lamp.

I watched as the three men with greasy hands and holey shirts dissected a huge truck and slowly put it back together again. Sparks danced as Sean took a blow torch to the truck's metal frame, and hollered to me, "Watch out, these might fly your way!" Standing on the edge of the shop, a backdrop of trees behind me, I watched the pieces of orange fire settle on Sean's skin and drop against the cement floor. A breeze ruffled my hair and I thought how philosophical a mechanic shop can be.

In fact, there is something very artistic about the gritty rawness of an auto shop.


  1. after hearing you out... artistic? Maybe. Philosophical though? ... :/

  2. That was a very fun post to read! You are so poetical.

  3. Entirely romantic.
    Poignant portrayal.