Veronique Darwin

I went looking for a car wash

In Dreams, Thoughts on Writing on February 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm

After writing a post yesterday where I complained about not doing enough things manually, I went out today in search of an automatic car wash. I hadn’t ever been in one before. My mouth hung open. I felt like I was on an amusement park ride. In case you have been in a car wash before, I won’t describe it in detail.

Despite having been given a receipt that allowed me to wash my car infinitely for the next forty-eight hours, I drove straight out of the car wash on to the street. I parked at the shopping mall and only then did I examine my car. It was still dirty.

Now I am someone who doesn’t return things. I don’t find it fits with other pieces of my personality, but that’s just the way I am. I may never have returned a single thing. Actually, once at Boston Pizza there was a wet, empty sugar packet under my last slice of pizza. I only mentioned anything so I could get something free in return.

The fact that I had forty-eight hours in which to make a u-turn and redo the car wash made it too easy. And besides, I am frightened of amusement park rides. Instead I drove home and washed my car.

I windexed the windows, inside and out. I vacuumed. But mostly I used a sponge and warm water on all the spots that the manic car wash missed. I spent four minutes in a car wash, one hour washing the car myself. I was far happier this afternoon than I’ve been the past three weeks, every day thinking about how I should wash my car.

images

from agapecentre.ca

I even feel that the $13.49 I paid to get my car washed was worth it. I have the strange feeling I paid myself to wash my car.

Now I don’t know how this relates to writing, but I know that hard work makes me feel good. I know this about other people too. I sometimes forget it because I mostly hate exercising. I love spending too long on a sentence. I love writing out character descriptions I’m never going to use. I love spell checking manually and I love writing things out by hand. I love the idea of taking precious time to do something important, even if its importance is only judged by the amount of satisfaction I get from it. I write a novel because I want to spend the most time ever writing something.

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