Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Soft tires and dirty windshields

When I was young, my father would do two things in the morning. He would go outside, smoke a the morning cigarette, take the squegee, rags and a pail of water and clean the car . My brother described it as an obsession with cars. I agree considering my obsessive compulsive tendencies to fixate on things.

Yesterday, as part of my transformation into a driver, I went to the corner gas station, took out the tire pressure gauge, and added air to the tire. Of course, it was a momentous occasion for a non-mechanical guy like me. I had to make sure for example that I added air and not water. Apparently, water does not work inside a tire rotating at 50 mph.

And today, I got to work at 7AM. What to do for the next hour? Well, how about cleaning the windshield and windows? Yup, I was cleaning windows in front of my job. It was not that embarassing because no one was here. But I still felt funny.

In some ways, I reconnect with my father when I clean the car. I see him doing it; and I follow his lead. I don't know how he always managed to get out and clean the car in the morning. It probably took him some 30 minutes to do it. Today, I had to confront the same mystery of the squegee which my father confronted. How do you squegee without leaving any streaks? How do you clean the side mirrors without leaving blur? How do you make it so that the car always looks clean?

Maybe I need to get that feather duster that my father carried. Maybe that was the secret. Feather duster.

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