Today I was pulled way off center.
My plan was to drop off my wife's car at the mechanic near my work place for minor service, then drive it over to get the biennial state-mandated inspection at lunch time.
Plans, well, they often go awry. But I was able to take a break from work when the car was ready, at about 4:15pm. The inspection station would still be open when I got there, but I was annoyed at all the traffic.
I was especially annoyed at a blue Honda that I'd waited patiently for. I could've pulled out in front of it, not exactly cutting it off, but somewhat rudely causing it to slow down when I would eventually turn off the road 30 yards later.
But after I pulled into the road behind it, I could tell that this car was also headed for the inspection station. The clue was the temporary license plate that was affixed to the inside of the rear window. So it seemed that this driver would be first in line for inspection, and I'd have to wait. I still had to call in an order of Chinese food, pick that food up, and then pick up my daughter at school before finally arriving home.
I shadowed the blue Honda, turn for turn. It parked in the only parking spot near the station's entrance. I had to pull the car around back and park partly on a sheet of slippery, compacted snow.
Yet, somehow I managed to walk to the door of the testing station before the other driver, who, it turned out, was a young attractive woman. She moved in a Certain Way, like the musical way that tall grass blows in a gentle breeze. She moved just like another young attractive woman who works at the same company as me.
At first I decided to pretend I didn't see her and let the door close behind me. But then I stopped in the threshold and held the door open for her, because I felt her Pull.
She was conversational, asking what the station's hours were (when they were clearly displayed) and how much the test would cost. After we checked in with the attentant we sat down on separate couches.
I'd been at the station before. Back then they had two friendly dogs roaming about. But the dogs weren't here today, so I asked about them. Then the woman perked up and said she'd like to get a dog. She'd been through a divorce just recently and her ex took the dog and her son really misses it. I jokingly said she could have mine. Then, seriously, I mentioned the rescue organization that I got my dog from.
It wasn't just the divorce that she'd been through. Today, she was also laid off from her job. "The condo's expensive," she added. I thought she was going to cry. And the reason for the temporary plate was that her registration had expired and she was fined and the car was towed away. On top of that the taxes are due next month.
At this point I wanted to help her so badly. I would've hired her if I ran a business. And then I thought of starting a business so that I could hire her. Or I could pay her to pet sit whenever our family went away (not that we ever go anywhere overnight). My employer always seems to have an opening for an assembler, so I mentioned that. But she knew about my workplace; her sister works there. Her sister, is, of course, the other woman who moves, enchantingly, in that same Certain Way.
In a mystical flash, I sensed the life lines of her and her sister very briefly. Her sister came to the workplace a couple of years ago, a fresh start after a divorce and a bad experience at another company. And now this blue Honda woman's life line, co-mingling ever so briefly with mine, drifts along much like her sister's.