I have an hour commute to and from work everyday. I savor the time in my car. In that hour, I listen to news programs, rock out to She-ra tunes, or sometimes just have some me time. I talk to myself a lot in the car. I relive conversations that maybe should have happened or are about to happen, so I do not stumble on my very big, important words. After all, if it all doesn't come out right, maybe no one will really hear me? As car time is my pal and confidante, I need to take care of her better. I decided to give her a proper cleaning.
Well, something unexpected happened. Actually, I should have expected it, but I have been in denial.
I started with the back seat. I had wiped down the seats, dusted. No issues there. But then I wanted to get underneath the driver and passenger's seats. There, I found several: we are talking dozens of fast food bags, junk wrappers and debris. It was a burial ground for thousands and thousands of calories that I have stuffed in my face while on my drives to and from work. As I took each wrapper and put in trash bags I had so much emotion. "What the heck have I been doing?!? How could I have been so stupid?" Dunkin' donuts every morning: donut, coffee-cream-sugar, sausage-egg-cheese on croissants. McDonald's McGriddles with sausage, bacon. Bagels with butter and 4 inches of cream-cheese and lox. French fry crumbles embedded in my floor mats remind me of all the #7's, #5's, #3's and #2's. Candy bar wrappers in my glove compartment, on top of and underneath my car manual.
But then, there was the pie box. An actual pie box in the trunk of my car. That's right. I bought an entire strawberry and rhubarb pie and ate the whole thing in my car with a spoon: while driving. I found myself stuffing all this evidence in a trash bag, tying it as tight as I could, and burying it deep in the back of the garbage dump bin. I am so embarrassed. How the Hades do I explain this to anyone if they find out? In the interest of full disclosure, I know I have tossed other pie boxes in the past.
I can say that I have not stopped at these establishments since I started to lose Ethel, but I am terrified that this is a habit that is hard to break. Is it only a matter of time? Not only did I eat all of this stuff, but I ate in shame: alone in my car, while no one could see me, like it never actually happened. In fact, I remember arriving home saying to my Sweetheart, so what's for dinner: like I never ate. Today I mourn the loss of the comfort my car usually brings. She gets me where I am going, but she isn't telling me when I should turn around and just go home. I hope I can do that for myself. I don't know if I am ready to tell the people in my life that I do this, but for now I am coming out to all of you.