Sat, 15th Dec '07, 12:55 pm::

People have out-of-body experiences. Hallucinogenics and spirits give you out-of-mind experiences. I just had an out-of-place experience. As I stood in the parking lot at Toyota, waiting for my car to get the 35,000 mile service, a feeling of unanticipated displacement overtook me. The weather felt like Mumbai whilst the brightness compelled me to believe I was in the snow covered mountains of Utah. The couple from Lebanon bickering over auto-parts expenses reminded me of Premchand's tales from the heart of rural India while the tattooed Asian guy in a tow-truck resembled a frame from a Jet Li flick. I was there, inside my mind and body, but I wasn't sure where "there" was.

Maybe I shouldn't have stayed up late last night; certainly this is due to my uneven sleep schedule. I walked inside the waiting room hoping for the feeling to subside. Instead, I started to notice obvious things to such a detached extent that they became peculiarities to be mused over. An elderly couple exchanged a few words among themselves and the only thing that I could think of was "We used to be two separate individuals minding our own business. One day we decided to hang around each other more often. It felt good so we signed official documents to make sure we hang around each other even more. Now we consult with each other about every single thing regardless of its long-term impact and importance. Sometimes we wish we had picked someone else to hang around with but too bad we signed those documents."

A service rep. walked up to an amusingly rotund woman to let her know that her car was ready for pick-up. He commented that her screaming little boy was so well-behaved. All I heard was "This is the path I have chosen in life. I end up here on a Saturday, telling morbidly corpulent women that their noisy rascals are anything but. Why? Because if I don't get three more A+ service check marks on my customer satisfaction survey forms this month then I will have to find another place to carry on this shtick. I should have been a boat captain."

The voice on the speakers announced "Mr. Mayta, your car is ready." B+ on the pronunciation. I picked up my car and left.

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