Friday, March 19, 2021

This is Your Brain on Overload

 My first car was a little red 1985 Ford Escort. There were no bells or whistles. It was a manual, basic H stick shift without air conditioning or rear window defrost. It was a two-door, although when you're in your twenties that isn't a big deal. Plus, since it was my car I didn't have to do much climbing out of the back seat.

That little car took many a road trip- to Key West for Spring Break and all the way to New Orleans for a three-week excursion to Mardi Gras and beyond. When it didn't start the way it should I could pop the clutch and get the motor running. It served me well...until it didn't- at which point I coasted it down Superman hill in Arlington, VA to sell it to the local junk dealer.

Thirty years later, my car has a few more added attractions. I never take the rear window defrost for granted- or the cool air that blows through the vents on a warm day.

Last week, I noticed the air blowing out of the passenger's side was anything but cool. Actually, it was downright hot. I considered the problem for a second but then since I was getting all the cool air I needed I pushed it out of my mind. I knew a/c problems meant money and I didn't want to ruin my sunny Sunday.

This afternoon, I busted out of work ready to take on the problem. I had done my internet research and was ready to hand over the sizable amount of money that it could cost. Thankfully, the end of the workweek provided a moment of clarity that kept me from pulling into the local service station.

These new cars. They're so fancy.

My a/c has dual controls. Something that apparently got buried in a mind that has been so busy thinking about words like concurrent, hybrid, and pivot. I hit the temperature sync button, laughed at my own stupidity, and headed home with a smile and a cool breeze blowing through the car.


  1. I’m glad you have your brain back for the weekend, at least!

  2. This school year definitely has fostered brains on overload.
    Yay, for you figuring out about the air conditioning.
    I really enjoyed your slice.

  3. Thank goodness, Mary! This brain overload is a real thing. I love the trip back to the past with your first car in this piece of writing - and the acknowledgement of how those past experiences impact our current responses.

  4. Total relief. We've had the same thing with the backseat--like a ghost sets it off or something (or my son's foot) and we hear the air blast through the vents out of nowhere.