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A BOLT IN THE TIRE

Cindy Maddera

Last week, I hit a pretty awful pothole with my right front tire. It was so loud, that I was pretty sure I had broken my car. I was hesitant to mention any of this to Michael. Just last month I said something about never having the brakes looked at on my car that is now five years old. Five minutes after saying this, my brakes started to make a weird sound. I was pretty sure that if I said something about hitting that pothole, my whole tire would just fall off the car. I was riding in the passenger seat on Saturday, when I could hear a wub-wub-wub sound coming from the tire. So I asked Michael if he could also hear it. He said it sounded like it was coming from the driver's side front tire, but then I confessed to the pothole incident. He still thought it was coming from his side of the car. It sounded like I had flat tire, but the tire pressure light was not on. Finally Michael said "That's it! I'm pulling over right now." He got out of the car and had me slowely roll forwards and backwards while he inspected the tires. Turns out, there was a bolt with a washer lodged into the front driver side tire. The amazing thing is that the tire was not leaking air, nor had it blown out while we were driving it around. 

Yesterday, I told my therapist that I was finding it really difficult to not be a crankpot all the time. I told her I didn't know what was wrong with me, but I just felt out of sorts. Dr. Mary then had me read a passage from Buddhism Explained describing dukkha. Dukkha is suffering and this passage likened dukkha to a wonky wheel. For example, let's say you have a wooden cart with one wheel that sits crooked. The cart still rolls as you pull it; it just doesn't roll smoothly and makes the cart harder to pull and steer. Dukkha is a wonky wheel. You still experience joy, but there's always this underlying layer of suffering. You will always have this layer of suffering until you figure out what is causing the suffering and eliminate it from your life. I have a wonky wheel, a bolt in my tire. It always comes back to wheels.

I read the news about Stephen Hawking passing away while eating breakfast. Tears splashed down onto my pancakes as I read "It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love." Then for some strange reason, Werewolf of London was playing on the radio. There was Chris sitting in the passenger seat howling through the lyrics and I said "you are not the bolt in my tire." I said it while really trying to believe that was true. This in between Winter and Spring season is the bolt. That first Spring after Chris died, the only thing I wanted to do was ride my scooter. I'd spent the winter unable to muster enough energy to do more than lay on the couch. I wanted something that I knew would be bring me joy. But then I couldn't find my scooter key. I got so desperate that I finally retrieved the spare key from the lock box, the key they told me to never use because if lost it would cost $2500 to replace. At the time, being on my scooter in the sun was worth so much more than $2500.

We are so close to being in scooter season. I went out to the garage to start my scooter and it would not turn over. Sad face. Then Michael hooked my battery up to a battery charger and two hours later, my scooter roared to life. Happy face! Then the temperatures dropped back down below thirty. Sad face. In the years since the lost scooter key, it has always been this season that has made me feel the most out of kilter. Tomorrow, I'm pulling that bolt free from my tire and I'm riding my scooter.