It was time once again for my tires to be checked and rotated. So I wended my way through the massive road-works and decrepit pavements of Bristol hoping that Bedding Barn had not gone out of business, as Tire Depot lies behind it, and the only signage is a small sandwich board on route six, which might or might not still be visible between the traffic cones. The ambiance at Tire Depot is pretty much what you might expect given their advertising is word-of-mouth only. It is pretty much a local hangout for those knowledgeable about the care and feeding of tires, and not much else need be said regarding its milieu. I was told the estimated wait-time was two hours, which was not unexpected. It has always been a time dump, no matter when I go. It used to be one waited in the office, perched on uncomfortable mismatched chairs between random tires, breathing in the full-bodied aroma of rubber tread while watching the owners answer the phone and deal with obscure tire problems … for your future reference, there is no spare tire in a Corvette and the only way one can carry a spare is to remove the passenger seat … who knew? The constant flow of people in and out to drop-off or pick-up car keys, to question invoices, or to just simply schmooze, was always a guaranteed source of entertainment for those of us who chose to wait.

However, during the pandemic their waiting area was moved outside. So I took up temporary residence in their new all-weather outdoor waiting area, previously referred to as the parking lot. It was a beautiful day, crisp and clear with just a hint of Burger King in the air. And for a time, it was lovely to sit and watch the ebb and flow of cars in need of tires, and all the guys in need of talking about tires. The testosterone level was off the charts as they wheeled out cars with newly rotated tires, jacked up others to put on snow tires, unloaded new tires from trucks, loaded up old retreads for recycling, jockeyed cars in and out of the garage, and explained to one and all that the wait would be two hours. And yes, it was always busy at this time of year.

But as time wore on it became evident nothing is done in a hurry at Tire Depot, no matter what time of year it happens to be. Eventually, I realized if you have seen one tire rotation you have pretty much seen them all. And while for some, tread size and steel radial design might be excruciatingly interesting, the fascination with tires in general is lost on me. So when the danse de garage became repetitive, I took the time to catch up on my emails and updated my To Do list. I texted and Instagram-ed, read bits and pieces of this’s-and-that’s from the cyber universe, reorganized my handbag, and began to write a blog post about how Zen it is to sit and do nothing.

However, as I did so I realized what a paradox it is to write about doing nothing, when in fact the act of writing is itself an activity and therefore negates doing nothing. So instead of writing my blog post, I sat there and tried to do nothing. Only to find I was no longer able to be at ease without accomplishing something. That wonderful Zen state of mind, discovered during the pandemic, has gone bye-bye. I have lost the contentment I once felt doing nothing, and have entered into a perpetual do-loop of activity.

Now that my life has returned to some form of normalcy, I am forced to admit how hard it is to do nothing in a busy world. Do I miss it, that Zen feeling? I don’t know. I know it helped me cope during the pandemic. But I can’t in all honesty tell you I miss it now. Instead, I seem to need some form of mindless activity, the busy-ness of chores, or the fidgety parts of my day, to off-set the energy I expend interacting with the real world once again. And let’s face it I was really out of practice coping with the real world. So now days there is a sense of rehabilitation attached to my social interactions, like learning anew the skills I once took for granted. But as time passes and eases the awkwardness of the newly normal world, perhaps those Zen moments will appear once again to instruct us in the art of living well … and how to wait and do nothing as the wheel of time rotates.

2 Replies to “TIRE DEPOT TIME”

  1. How appropriate your little missive seems. I hate the nothingness but I also don’t want to be bothered with many of the tasks that I usually had. Life is so difficult these days. I yearn for peace and contentment and a sense of belonging. Hope you are coping. Different members of our families and friends are creating little divisions and that is not helpful. I want so much to be a participant in positive undertakings but I am also being very cautious (even though we have been scrupulously obedient and mindful of others) and I want to return to a happy place where I didn’t mind if someone acted in a different manner than I. Hope that you will enjoy a pleasant holiday season. By the way, Judy Jones now has round–the -clock caregivers at her house.

  2. Haha! Connie, I love your description of the “ambiance” at the Tire depot!!! ( smell, testosterone grit… etc) That very aptly described the last time I had an oil change, except it was only 20 minutes and inside ! Thanks for that chuckle while I was in waiting room at the eye doc.

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