I would like the status of being a mechanic. Specifically a car mechanic, although I’m sure any kind would scratch my ego quite nicely.
There have been times in the past that I have bragged about replacing my motorbike’s exhaust, or casually worked changing my car’s battery into conversation hoping for implicit kudos. I liked it that time I was putting in a new air filter and a couple of guys went past and were all ‘woah, hey, a lady mechanic!’ and, even though it was maybe pretty sexist, and also I was literally just pulling out a cuboid and putting in a fresh cuboid, I decided to take it.
The thing is, though, I have always been acutely aware that I am skating by the skin of my arse with most of these endeavours. The point at which I’m in over my head is somewhere very close in front of me, obscured by the murky veil of ignorance. I haven’t irrevocably fucked anything yet, but there was that time I couldn’t get the carburettor back in. So, in more recent years, I’ve found myself actively trying to discourage any notion that I know how vehicles work, despite the fact I seem to want to talk about them to the extent that I fear people form…an impression.
I never even find time, these days (nor, if I’m honest, inclination), to indulge my amateur ratchet-handler, so I’ve had to accept it’s a dream that will likely never be realised. It sounds like too much fucking trouble at this point, anyway. I know it’s a long life. Things might change. But let’s be realistic. It might be kind of fun to take up the hobby when I’m like seventy, though. Just for shock value more than anything. I think I have to admit that part of what I like about the idea of becoming a mechanic is defying expectations – though I’m not sure whose, exactly – and becoming an elderly lady mechanic just feels entirely satisfying. Except all of the combustion engines will have been shipped to the colonies by then, so…
Sometimes I think wistfully of the time I randomly got offered an admin job at a garage because the owner liked my demeanour, and he couldn’t match my current salary so offered to pay me under the table, and I thought about requesting some kind of training instead, but then I just never got back to him. Other times I think about how, carried away in a romantic reverie, I nearly convinced my ex we should buy a Volvo 850 together, in my head thinking I could just do any work on it myself, because we sure as fuck couldn’t afford to pay someone. Maybe I should have gone through with it – we’d have broken up a lot quicker.
No one in my family even had a car until I was a teenager, and there was really no-one in my life at all who knew anything about cars, so I guess maybe that created some kind of mystique that lured me in. But it also created a barrier – cars seemed inaccessible to me, so I never even considered that I could learn about them. Which is kind of weird and disappointing. Looking back on the thought processes of my younger self is often fucking weird and disappointing. Irrational limitations juxtaposed against overexuberant ambitions, leading to a circle jerk of drama and wasted energetic capability. It was such a weird place to live, but I just didn’t know it at the time. How reality has changed.
Anyway. I’m not a mechanic. Which is a shame, because I need one.