My car's Check Engine Light has been on for days. This happens periodically and the first time it resulted in the standard reaction of "oh no my car is ready to burn up into a pile of cinder" and a slow painful trip to the mechanic. Roland... my filthy mechanic, who resembles a holocaust survivor but a survivor that knows his way around an engine, chuckled and said in his faux-southern drawl "you didn't tighten the gas cap."
Apparently, in Hondas and Toyotas the "Check Engine Light" goes off when the car is burning up and ready to explode, or if you fail to tighten the gas cap sufficiently. I think this might be some sort of Japanese engineering humor.
My internal Check Engine Light goes off every so often too. It is a nagging amber light of doom that sits inside my peripheral vision and tells me that my life is about to explode into a disaster of epic proportion... or that my zipper is down. It is the little light that cried wolf. At first you rush off to have it looked at... and they open you up and diagnose you with all sorts of physical and mental issues. Or worse yet... you skip the mechanic and research the problem on line yourself. That is a sure path to hell. Because literally every symptom is either intestinal gas or a brain tumor. Which only makes it harder to ignore the your Check Engine Light.
"It must be a brain tumor!" You panic and sweat and worry. And then you psych yourself up for the doctor who laughs at you and says... "gas!" and hands you some antacid.
The hardware problems are nothing compared to the software one... those are a real bitch. My heart and the carburetor are easy to diagnose. But my on-board computers and psyche. Well... that is more of an imprecise art. They are finicky and sometimes it is as simple as hitting the reset button. But sometimes only drugs will help.
So I drive on. Pointedly ignoring the light. Hoping that my zipper is down. Ignorance is, after all, bliss. And I'm all about following my bliss.
The Interesting Thing About Anxiety
5 weeks ago