S is for Subaru and stupid and Spock

And s-t-u-p-i-d is how I feel!

I blame it on emotions. Ramped-up overwrought emotions accelerated by Mother’s Day “events.” I blame it on a fitless night of (3) beers and (1) whiskey sour, jagged crying, drippy tears, inner churnings and various sordid elements.

Emotions! Always get in the way of reason, logic, clarity and problem-solving!

Yep, I’m the first to admit that Monday after Mother’s Day, when my Subbie suddenly went south, was a damned doozie of a day!

Back to being stupid.

How long have I had that car? It’ll be 13 years next month. That’s a long time to have a car (especially in this era of Disposable). A long time to care for a car. A lot of sitting, riding in, driving a car. A lot of intimate time in a car.

So how the hell is it that I forgot where the button for the hazard lights is?!?

It’s not like it’s hard to find! Not like it’s buried beneath the glove box. Tucked under a backseat headrest. Squeezed into a corner on the ceiling over the passenger’s seat.

It’s right there! Front and center on the console. By the radio — and we all know where that is! Just to the right of the steering wheel. Between the vents. See it? (not my actual car; a facsimile):


It’s not like I’ve never noticed it! Good Lord, I’ve made my home my car and my car my home. I know her sounds, smells and nuances like normal (which btw I am not) people know their homes.

My Subbie’s more than a car. She’s my friend .. my best friend … my companion, steadfast and loyal … my other half, or same half, depending on point of view. She’s my greatest and only asset, pragmatically.

She’s my horse. In another lifetime and era, I’d be the cowboy and she’d be my horse and off we’d go on long rides deep into open space and lonesome valleys, just she and I, disappearing for days to weeks on end.

Just as we do in this lifetime. Her fuel may be gas rather than grass and I a female rather than male but all the rest is the same.

Back to stupid.

It’s not that I *didn’t* know that that’s the button for the hazard lights staring from the console. Sure, the cute design (a thin red triangle) is misleading. Could be mistaken for a touch of cabin “flair.” It doesn’t scream HAZARD lights. It whispers it. It’s subtle. In typical Subaru style. Subaru doesn’t shout “look at me!” Subaru’s not about flash and drawing attention to the self. It’s about understated presence and superb quality beneath the hood and carriage.

Still, subtlety of the button is no excuse for my Lapse of Reason and Intelligent Thought.

Somehow Monday night, either while pulling up to park or exiting the car, I accidentally hit that button. Who knows how. I was pretty upset. Pretty distraught. Pretty unglued. Pretty toasted. Pretty “elsewhere” in thought and emotions.

At the same time I’d unknowingly tapped the button that triggers the hazard lights to flash even with the engine off and key removed — as they’re are designed to do! — the car began emitting a horrible groaning under the hood. A sound I’d never heard in our 13 years.

Whether the two — nonstop flashing hazard lights and awful groaning — were connected, I couldn’t know at the time. I knew only that my Subbie was sick and needed to get to the “doctor” ASAP.

I also knew I was a bloody mess.

Yet, amazingly, I had the presence of mind to disconnect the battery to prevent it from draining from the flashing lights. A dead battery: not on my wish list.

Simply, in retrospect, I was just too distraught and overwhelmed to make the connection between the hazard lights button — that, to repeat, has stared at me for some 13 years (!!) — and the flashing lights. And the simple means of turning them off: Push the button!

Most any other time, I would’ve.

She was gonna go in for engine groaning regardless.

So imagine how tall I felt — NOT! — when I arrived at the dealer reporting that the flashing hazard lights wouldn’t shut off.

The porter leans in. Pushes one button. Nope, that’s not it. Pushes another. That’s it. Lights off.

Damn! Don’t I feel s-t-u-p-i-d!

Not because I was unaware of that button. Because I was.

Emotions. They do ugly things to our brains. They mess me up. Make fools of us all.

To my credit, intelligence, not emotion, is my prevailer.

But Monday, after the worst Mother’s Day in eight years, I was a damn mess. And it just happened that my Subbie abruptly turned sick. When it rains, it pours.

Suffice it to say that Subbie’s health has been restored. The source of that terrible groaning was identified and repairs made in a day.

My emotional health, on the other hand, not so speedy on the rebound, I’m afraid to say.

There’s a lot to be said about being Spock. Or Spock-ish. All things logical. Reasoned. All things sensible and in order and when not in order returned to order by sound fundamentals of thought and logic.

Being human is a messy business. I don’t much like it.

On the other hand, what are my options? Be a robot? A zombie? A regular person run entirely by emotions without thought or food of intelligent design? None of that’s gonna happen or can happen.

What IS certain, I can say, is that I shall now always remember what the button for the hazard lights looks like! Even if I’m distraught and drunk. It’s that button with the “cute” understated red triangle.

I’ll remember what it’s for: switching on front and rear hazard lights that WILL continue flashing until I push the button again!

A cheap lesson in the value of mindfulness and the messiness of emotions. Being human. It’s not for everyone.

Live long and prosper, Sir Spock (& other non-earthlings of his ilk).



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