During yesterday’s quarantine, my car’s preventive maintenance facility finally called. I could get my Civic, they said, right up until 5:00 pm.
It was around 3:30 pm when they rang. I mulled over my options briefly, made my decision, and five minutes later, left the house on foot.
The idea, more than anything else, was to stretch my legs and get just the slightest bit of exercise after having been cooped up for nearly four days. If I took it easy, I figured I would get to the dealer in around 20 minutes or so.
It wasn’t the distance I feared so much as the noise and the exhaust from passing cars. True enough, the air felt thin, and I ambled over the sidewalks on shaky legs, squinting eyes and straining lungs.
Thankfully enough, the new overpass was built with tiny steps, so the climb to the top occurred as an almost imperceptible ascent. Ahead of me, a ShopWise loomed just a block before the dealer itself.
They have a huge sale on folding chairs, Abbey’s words came to mind unbidden.
It shouldn’t take me that long, I thought and made another decision.
Ten minutes later, I was in the hypermart’s housewares section, looking at a neat display of gray and white folding chairs. I took one down, sat on it, felt it bear my weight, tested its rubber grips, tested its stability, checked if the space below the back rest would allow thighs and possible a torso to pass through, used it to do a half downward dog, decided at the last minute NOT to use it do a supported back bend—then finally called a shop assistant over.
“Do you have at least twelve of these on stock?” I asked with the slightest wheeze.
They did, indeed. While they scurried off to assemble the order, I noticed that a screw on one of the display items had fallen off. I picked it up, found a disposable wrench nearby, and idly twisted the screw back in. Then I sat down and quietly waited for my lungs to work.
It’s funny how hypoxia can make even the most impatient patient.
“I don’t have a car now, so I’ll pay for these first then come back later to pick the chairs up,” I explained when the shop assistant returned. He nodded, and ten minutes later I was back on the street heading for my original destination.
“I went to ShopWise,” I told Abbey over the phone. “After two years of looking for the perfect yoga studio chairs, I didn’t want to lose the chance.”
She understood, of course. In my shoes (or lungs), she would have done the same thing.
It’s funny how not even hypoxia can keep you from what you love.