by Nic Olson
I was contracted to case an old Honda Civic. Just go there, take everything inside, and get out. Might need a few tools, might need to break a few windows, it doesn’t belong to me anymore, so do what you’ve got to do, is what I was told. I was free this morning at 7am, so was glad to oblige. Casing an old Honda, sounds like a person I’d like to be come. Eight in the morning, rooting through piles of textbooks and rubberboots and windshield wipers in the brisk wind, I reminded myself, “Don’t own things.” My priorities were obvious as I picked up every individual coin and cellophane-wrapped toothpick off the ground with stiff hands, giving more importance to those, and the Aerobie Superdisc in the back, than the five-hundred dollar stereo that was the real reason behind being hired. Unfortunately for myself and the former owners of the car, a near-retired security guard of the SGI impound lot pulled up next to me, the same man that gave me permission to peruse this one car in a sea of hundreds. This time he told me that I was prohibited from taking the audio deck. Not knowing why he suddenly demanded this, I became standoffish, put my hands up and waved them in innocence, asking him if he was going to believe the apparent ‘unnamed man’ that had just called him with the new orders. We solved the problem with a tire-iron fight which ended in an exchange of phone numbers. Nice gentleman.
Throughout the process, waiting in the car for the lot to open, piling shit into bags and laundry hampers on the icy ground, picking up frost-flaked coins, I kept saying to myself, “Oh, they better buy me a beer for this. Or at least a backrub.” Until finally the not-selfish part of my brain kicked in and said, “Shut up, you dinkbag, you are doing something nice for your sister who is unfortunate enough to live in Saskatoon. You don’t deserve a beer for this.” And I drove home.
I listed most of my insecurities to a single soul last week, and I even spared this particular insecurity. I can only think of so many at one time, so I thought I’d share it with you instead. My insecurity of easy unmotivation. Of how comfort seems to stifle my motivation. I can somehow muster up the energy and willpower to drink six beers a night for a week, or to drive nineteen hours out of twenty-one, a selfish motivation, but can’t muster up the energy to read things that benefit my brain, or to be productive, or to help anyone else without subconsciously deciding that I deserve a reward for doing so. The incentive program, as effective with credit cards as it is with beer drinking. While behind the wheel two nights ago, I had ample amounts of time to think through all of the good habits I would keep upon returning home. Like a New Years Resolutionist in denial. Or a recovering addict sure that this time would be different. I had lists of character-building things that I would commit to doing upon arriving home now that I had the chance to marinate in a week of enjoyment. And upon returning home, they all seem to weigh more than ten-thousand Superdiscs. Here’s to hoping that it is just a lack of sleep.
With one more of my insecurities out in the air, and one more Honda Civic cased, I think this is a Wednesday well spent. I deserve a beer.
Thanks for doing that. We do owe you a beer or two. And I will even take you out for India food buffet if you ever get your butt to this city you love so much. “Don’t own things”…I am liking that more and more. As for SGI and the Civic…I don’t want to talk about it. ha
Nic, I’m moving to Calgary in January, want to join?