Friday, March 03, 2006

Mr. Fixit

I have noticed over the years that people who do different jobs have predictable reactions to the problems others. If you have a doctor for a friend and you are telling them about the problem they will ask what caused the problem and when did it start. A psychologist or other person in mental health will ask how you feel about the problem. An accountant will want to know if the problem is worth the trouble. A scientist will try to dissect the problem and discover the internal workings. A state road worker will lean on the nearest shovel and stare at you blankly then leave to get coffee. I am a mechanic, or I was till I got hurt, and my first reaction to hearing that a friend has a problem is to try to fix it. I understand things in parts and pieces and their relationship to each other. I have to hold myself in check in order to not take out my emotional hammer and whack the problem a few times to see if it will fit after all. I want to disassemble the offending trouble and find the malfunctioning element, repair or replace it, then put every thing back in the same order. I have found that this approach works great with cars, televisions, computers, air conditioners, and remote controls, but is somewhat less effective on humans. For some reason people are loathe to allow me to take them apart and see what in wrong in their innards. To me a broken heart should be fixable with duct tape and a few staples, and jumbled thoughts should be jerked out, aligned and replaced. Confusion should be easy enough to clear up after prying the cranium open and blowing out all the cobwebs and debris that clutter the cog work of the brain. Crying can be fixed by rerouting the dear ducts into the esophagus. But unfortunately there is no simple way to repair the damage done by broken hearts, jumbled thoughts and confusion. You see mechanical things have no feeling. A car doesn’t fail to start because it is no comfortable with the starter’s attitude. A refrigerator never ceases to cool because it is depressed and doesn’t freeze the entire house because it is manic.

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