Some days are catch-up days, and today was one of them. The first thing I did today was sleep in. This was completely necessary! The past week involved tons of work, driving, studying, planning, practicing, performing, and worrying. My mind needed the extra rest.
Off to get my car’s oil changed. My dad goes to a place in Garden Grove, which is a huge hub for the Vietnamese community here in southern California. Naturally, I followed suit and go there every time I have a car-related matter that needs tending to. It’s located close to where I used to teach piano. I can’t help but remember how many times I used to drive up to that intersection every Saturday to spend 6 hours teaching. I’ve gotten to a point in my life where being 15 years old feels far away to me. I think they call it getting old.
When I first started going to this particular auto shop for my car, my dad’s friend was the point person and business owner. Now, his son Walter is slowly taking charge of the business. (First Vietnamese Walter I’ve ever met.) He wears a navy blue jumpsuit stained with grease, oil, and food.
“You drive a lot, huh?” Walter asked, since I had only come two months before to change my oil.
I explained that I’m a musician and we had been touring for the past two months. We spoke briefly about it, and he proceeded to change the oil on my car. Our encounters never involve a whole lot of verbal exchange, but I enjoyed the company. The sun was out, so I stood in it and read my book with my sunglasses on. I was dressed very French today with a neck scarf and cardigan. I felt very chic.
After grabbing lunch and reading more from Ms. Anais Nin’s diary, I drove to the hospital to visit J. He’s on solid foods now, and he can walk around for a little while. Every time I visit, there are new balloons, flower vases, and stuffed animals lining the room’s perimeter. He says the pain is significantly less than before, and the nurses and doctor seem confident in his speedy recovery. While walking up and down the halls, I gave a cursory glance inside the rooms that we passed. Most people in the hospital were at least 20 years older than J. I was so happy to be with my friend, who is getting better every day. Then I considered other patients who may not be so lucky and felt very deeply for them and their families.
Although I fully recognize that the surgery is something that happened to J and not to me, this whole week has re-centered me and reminded me to be thankful of all the things I do have in life. I’m humbled by my visits to the hospital. While sharing the healing process with my closest friend, I feel that a lot of my own inner turmoil has also begun to heal. I’ve gained significant perspective. My soul is at peace.