On Sunday’s I like to take a break from writing anything new. My intention is to take this day and repost some of my older blogs for newer readers. But as is often the case when I read my older stuff I realize how horrible it is. I could improve that so much more I think. So rather then A Sunday Repost I am doing A Sunday Rewrite.
Here is the reworking of part one of my Living the Dream Trilogy
LIVING THE DREAM
PART ONE OF THREE
BLOWING THE DREAM
((At least not in the dream I am about to share here.))
Blowing the chance to fulfill a dream makes one wish it was physically possible to kick oneself.
In 1987 I worked in a fishbowl. A car dealership in town had a small gas bar on the side and it was in that tiny glass-walled building I worked. We called it the fishbowl. After midnight, most traffic had vanished and girls who had thought it was funny to pull into the pumps to buy three cents worth of gasoline had burned that gas driving home. This would be the time I’d find myself sitting there, alone. The large red fire extinguisher in the corner would catch my eye and I would feel a desire rise to do something I had never done before.
It was a desire I first felt at age 13 and in the 10 years since had yet to have the opportunity to see that desire met. It started with a first year junior high literature assignment. I crafted a mystery story where our hero escapes the clutches of a psychotic would-be world-conqueror with the use of a fire extinguisher. Rereading the story, I was confronted with a nagging weakness in my plot. How do I know the escape could have actually work as I had written? I had never used a fire extinguisher before. I had never been in the presence of one being use. I just assumed that a fire extinguisher would work in a manner I imagined with the results I had hoped for.
That bothered me for years.
A decade after grade seven I still had never used a fire extinguisher. I couldn’t pass one in a hallway without desiring to squeeze that tempting handle. I had to know if the use of the fire extinguisher in my story was plausible.
Sitting in the fish bowl with the entire town asleep around me, that desire for knowledge welled up inside me, filling me with the near irresistible urge to grab the emergency fire extinguisher and bolt out into the parking lot spraying its contents all over the place.
This wasn’t the first night I fought this struggle.
Many lonely nights, working the graveyard shift, I would fantasize. I’d take the extinguisher from the corner, grasped the handle firmly in my hand and tighten. My longing desire would be thwarted by a two-inch long, steel safety pin wired into the nozzle that could only be removed by breaking the lead seal. My conscience would never permit me to break that seal without an actual emergency needing it to be done. Emergencies never happened, so I dreamt on.
Then, on the day of the emergency.
It was a day shift, just after lunch. I was pouring a litre of motor oil into a customer’s truck when some of the 10W30 spilled down over the hot engine manifold and burst into flame. This was just what I had been waiting for! As the flames flared up, I was face to face with my first real emergency! In an instant I realized this fire could lead to the truck exploding. The truck exploding could lead to the gas pumps igniting. The gas pump igniting could lead to gas storage tanks exploding. Gas storage tanks exploding could lead to my hometown becoming nothing more then a huge, smoking blast crater. The flames flared higher and I realized it was up to me to save my town, I had to stop this blazing inferno. I reacted instinctively, completely forgetting there was a fire extinguisher 15 feet behind me, I took a deep breath and started blowing on the flames with all my might.
Don’t laugh. It worked. The flames went out.
It was only then, after the threat had be neutralized – the owner of the truck completely unaware of what transpired – I realized this had been the perfect opportunity for me to fulfill my dream. I had the chance, completly guilt free, to break that seal, pull the pin and use the fire extinguisher as it was meant to be, in a true emergency. I had the chance to live my dream and I blew it, literally.
I could just kick myself, (if it was physically possible)
I promised I would be ready for the next emergency.
(It’s a funny thing about promises.)
===End of Part 1===
Find your way back here again next Sunday for the reworking of Part 2