THE BODY SHOP
by Maxine Weintraub
Not another trip to the body shop. Well, in my social circle, to call it a body shop is a bit pretentious. It’s just a local garage, and I seem to be there more and more often.
It all started a few years ago when I began to notice little things I had never seen before–the scratch along the driver’s side door, the small crack in the windshield. Where did that small dent in the bumper come from, and what was that peculiar lump in the floor carpet?
Last winter, the handle froze after an ice storm, and I couldn’t open the door. That was frightening. It seemed to me that it was time to start taking better care, paying more attention. I bought one of those coveralls that keeps the sap and the bird poop off and might keep ice from forming inside the door handles.
Now what? A large stain on the front seat. Purple. And a funny rattle somewhere. Not enough to keep me home but enough to make me very nervous. Should I be out and about?
A flat tire in the supermarket parking lot. The garage sent the large tow truck–the one with the flashing lights–so that everyone could see my distress. Humiliation. And over nothing!
Okay. It was time for preventive medicine. High test instead of regular. But the cost was high, and, sometimes when I filled the tank, I forgot.
Then, the final straw. A stain on the driveway. A leak. Wasn’t my garage doing its job? They didn’t see these things when I got my sticker? Did I need a specialist?
My friends laughed and told me to relax as I rattled down the local streets. They said that this aging process could not be avoided. But I raged. I found a real body shop. An expensive body shop. I had a major paint job. A valve job. Flushed those pipes and relined whatever could be relined. Was I losing control?
And at night, as I lay, fearful, in my bed, those old words from childhood rang in my head: now I lay me down to sleep…
Oh! What if I just didn’t start in the morning?
Maxine has been taking writing classes with both Betsy Campbell and Marjorie Roemer since joining BOLLI three years ago. She has been an active participant in the Writers Guild and was the editor of the 2018 BOLLI Journal. As Maxi Blue Cabot, she is the proud author of the recently published “Grammie Lives at the Mall” and “The Round Happy Smiling Lady” now available on Amazon.