Thursday, December 12, 2013

Grease Monkey: The Magical Grime Beneath Our Fingernails

Here it is--the last of my Outlines and Offerings and the second (and final) "hidden track"!


I was never really a "car girl." I don't read Car and Driver. I don't keep rankings of horsepower or top speeds. Indeed, I probably wouldn't be able to tell you much about any car beyond the color and the company that made it (and only after looking at the hood ornament), but one summer my dad decided it was time for me to learn some basics about cars. And he was going to teach me on his old car.

I loved it. I loved crawling underneath its belly to bleed the brakes. I loved climbing into the engine compartment to change the spark plugs. I loved the fact that it had about eight keys to open all the different doors and compartments, and even with all those keys, you still had to coax and encourage the doors to open. Once we got it running, I loved the growl of the engine and the fact that you had to spin the steering wheel like you were on the teacup ride at Disneyland to make it turn. I loved the thought that I--as tiny and mortal as I am--could make such a huge, hulking, timeless beast of a car come to life.

And when I left it, I missed it. I missed the feel of its steel curves under my hands. I missed the physical labor that working on it required. I missed feeling like I was doing something that altered the world.

As much as I appreciate modern technology ( I wouldn't be able to do what I do without it), I think it can prevent us from getting our hands dirty and learning how reality works. It can keep us from building things, fixing things and understanding how we fit into the universe.

Working on that car reminded me how amazing and complicated our creations are and, more importantly, helped me rediscover the beauty and joy of existing in a tangible world.

Now mix all that with a love song.





Grease Monkey
By Rachel Oto

He was a mechanic
Grease spots on knees
He was friends with the concrete floors
And subtleties of how things work
How we could make things work

But, oh my sweet lovely, I’m blind
Suffering all my sweet losses
Like you

He took my naïve hands in his rough palms
Looked in my childish eyes
Told me, “Stay strong”
But I was never strong

But, oh, my sweet lovely, I’m blind
Suffering all my sweet losses
Oh, my sweet lonely goodbye
I should be pure and strong
Like you

Like you
Like you
Like you

‘Cause, oh, my sweet lovely, I’m blind
Suffering all my sweet losses
Oh, my sweet lonely goodbye
I should be pure and strong

Like you
Like you

Like you

Thank you for listening to these Outlines and Offerings. I will continue to post regularly and try to keep things thoughtful and musical.

Be bold.

R

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