How to effortlessly influence reality with your thoughts

You are standing there with half a tooth on the end of a wire that apparently had been used to anchor it in the socket in your skull because the wire, which looks like tiny re-bar, is speckled with dental cement. You see the tooth backlit against a grey but bright sky outside the sliding window you remember from your childhood home; also a second tooth fell out. You sigh, trying to remember the rest of the dream, and wiggle all your teeth with your tongue, just to make sure. They all still seem to sit firmly.

You still have to get up early because even though it’s a holiday it’s not a holiday for your kid and you feed the cats and start coffee and take a shower and wake her up and drive her to school and before you drive her to school you have breakfast with your wife and joke that probably right after you get your windshield replaced you’ll be driving home and a tractor will merge in front of you at the first traffic circle, a tractor with a big trailer full of rocks, and a rock will bounce out and smack and there goes the brand-new windshield.

After dropping the kid off at school you go to the windshield place, a new place someone told you about, a new place you heard about on the windshield-replacing grapevine, cheaper than the dealer by about 45% and you meet your wife on the road and follow her car there and go in and give the guy your keys while his German shepherd sticks it snouts in your package the whole time and the guy, who looks a lot like a troll if trolls chainsmoked, says pick it up at 4 PM. Then you drive home with your wife and do stuff and at four she drives you back and you pick it up. It looks just fine. Brand new and clean. You try to remember how many you have replaced since moving to Austria 20 years ago. About ten. More than five, anyway. More than the zero you had replaced in the United States. You figure this is because one you have been driving more in Austria than in the US (about 20 to 4) but two more due to the fact that it rarely snowed in the Pacific Northwest where you drove in the US, and when it did snow they generally just left the roads slick and stayed home, as opposed to Austria where everytime a snowman farts a bunch of guys run out and throw gravel on everything because this is Austria: life goes on when it snows. Also probably these guys get paid according to how much gravel they spread, plus a bonus from the windshield industry.

There was the Peugeot, which you probably would have replaced the windshield except then you totaled the car. Then there was the Fiat, how many did you replace there? Three? Then three more on the Mazda, at least.

On your way home, at the first traffic circle, a brand-new tractor pulling a gigantic red trailer, also brand-new, full of rocks, merges in front of you. On the straightaway, where you cannot pass due to oncoming traffic, it loses a rock.

This is all happening in slow motion.

The rock falls off the back of the new red trailer, and bounces. With each bounce it loses a little momentum and comes a little closer to your car. It is now bouncing about six or seven feet high. You let up on the gas to maintain your distance between the rock and your car, but it comes closer.

You step on the brakes. It is down to maybe bouncing three or four feet high.

Then it is just rolling, and it rolls under your car. You give the tractor a lot of room, though.

Leaving for work the next day, you tell yourself, no doubt I’ll probably win the lotto today. And lose a kilo.

13 responses to “How to effortlessly influence reality with your thoughts

  1. Jann

    I live in southern California where it doesn’t snow, but I’ve nonetheless had to have my windshield replaced at least three, maybe four, times in the seven years that I’ve lived here. This is due to stones being thrown up from the wheels of trucks and SUV’s. Most people I know have full glass coverage on their auto insurance. The auto glass people come to my house or my workplace to replace the windshield at my convenience and “free”; my car insurance rates have not gone up. In fact, I pay here about half what I paid in Buffalo for auto insurance, (the same coverage).

    No such thing as “full glass coverage” in Austria?

  2. My bike hardly ever needs windshield replacement. Ho-ho-ho.

  3. It snows all the freakin time here, but since we live in a rural area ODOT (Oregon Department of Transportation) doesn’t care. So we are all just real men about it and put studded tires on our cars as soon as it becomes legal on November 1st, and carry chains and stuff until they make us take off the studs in April. I’ve never replaced a windshield. :)

  4. Ach. Rocks.

    here’s another guess: in the US, it’s more common to spread salt or sand on snowy/icy roads than gravel. NY state is very fond of sand. Utah gets the shingles if it doesn’t use a lot a lot a lot of sssssssssssalt. salt salt salt SALT omg SALT

  5. Oregon won’t throw salt on the roads because then when the snow melts it would get into the rivers and blah blah blah. Something about salted salmon. Sounds tasty to me.

    So in the cities they use rocks and sand, and out here we use studded tires.

    – a Utah resident

  7. Jann

    I can tell you that after Arizona got their last touchdown, I tried very hard to influence the outcome of the Super Bowl with my thoughts so that Pittsburgh would win. And something else about Pittsburgh; I lived in three different suburbs of Pittsburgh as a child – they used cinders on the roads there, not gravel, not salt, but cinders. I have no idea what thay use now.

  8. Muireann Noonan

    My children are out in a blizzard. They scream at me to remove myself from my memory foam mattress but then one of them brings me coffee. If someone would only pull my bed closer to the window, my reality could be altered. My reality is: I’ve taken to the bed; I am a bad mother. Aah my four year old is singing joyfully. She’s never seen snow. Squeals of delight. I’m at the window now, drawn by other people’s happiness. Capture the moment quickly. I’ve rarely seen snow in Ireland. The place grinds to a halt at a whiff of it. People are urged not to make unnecessary journeys. My memory foam is recalling Christmas in Luxembourg, February in France, other times. But this is a better time and I am being called to participate. And when we see the photo in years to come, I will have been there, not standing at the window looking in. Reality check. Get up before the snow is gone and there are tears

  9. Muireann Noonan

    Sorry I seem to have strayed from my Limerick slot. I was just checking in on the hamster situation. Trish and I were wondering what would we we so when the Limericks were through, how would we fill the void

  10. Muireann Noonan

    Can i send you a message from Trish
    There’s a fault with her satellite dish
    she’s bored and she’s cold
    and her husband did scold
    in re something to do with a fish

  11. Trish

    The mouser no longer could scare him
    Truth be told, Speedy never could bear him
    Though he did try his best
    To put scalpel to rest
    And by the graveside he sang Ave Verum

  12. Trish

    Well when is Valentine’s day?
    And how will love rat behave?
    Will it take a forceps
    to extract his wallet?
    Cave, we’ll make love in a cave

  13. Muireann Noonan

    oh i really have strayed, metamorphosed, you might say. sorry wrong page. i’m becoming a pest now.