Friday, January 14, 2011

forgetting a bodhisattva ...

Today, I have to get over to the car-repair place to have a blinking air-bag light attended to. I took the car to get its yearly inspection yesterday and the blinking air-bag light meant that the car was rejected for a new, yearlong sticker.

When I said to the inspector that I had been driving around for years with that blinking light and no one had complained, he said the state had changed the laws ... now any blinking light was cause for rejection and failure. He asked if I'd like his mechanics to take a look and, by implication, fix the problem: "It'll cost a minimum of $85," he said with a straight face. I said I would take it to my mechanic, which is what I plan to do this morning. $85 sounds like highway robbery to me.

But besides wanting to save some money, I also like going to my mechanic. He is a guy I honestly admire and respect. As I get older and what were once "heros" slip off my mental radar, my mechanic remains someone I might aspire to be or be like. I have a serious place in my heart for this guy.

And yet, for reasons I cannot fathom, I really have a hell of a time remembering his name. Each time I go to him, I have to take minutes finding the past experience that will allow me to say his name with certainty and comfort. It's utterly ludicrous since he has one of the simplest names in the world ... why the hell do I keep forgetting it?! His name is Jose Gonzales, a veritable John Doe of a Hispanic name. Easy-peasy ... and yet I forget and forget and forget. It truly symies me.

Jose is friendly and honest and hard-working and the two of us share an opinion of those qualities. I enjoy being in his company. It feels good ... sort of like being "at home." If I had to pick a bodhisattva on my horizon, Jose would be front and center. And yet I forget his name. What the fuck?!

But maybe if I write this blog entry, I'll remember more quickly. Who in the world forgets their bodhisattvas?!


  1. help me become another's bodhisattva.

    love you because u were mine.

  2. Sounds like my barber, just a decent bloke, i often felt that the $5 tip i leave him under all his protestations was money well spent for his company, forget the haircut. I always want him to take more off just so i can be in his positive company. Yet when he asks why for 20 years we never seem to make time for a beer together it’s always "we will ….THIS summer we will do that" but we both know it probably wont happen, life will get in the way. He hears all the constant complaining, same old jokes day after day and he just smiles and laughs on cue. When I am waiting in line and the guys ahead of me don’t leave him a tip (i watch!) or one that’s insulting i feel like grabbing them and say "look you wealthy old bastard $12 (seniors rate unchanged for what seems decades) for a haircut and you won’t leave him a buck or two? WTF? He has listened (as we all have) to your constant whining for past 15 minutes without telling you to shut up the least you can do is compensate him!”….I don’t because it would embarrass him too much! Great lessons from those we constantly encounter we just need to be aware of them.

  3. I think - it's hard to find an honest mechanic but good on you when you do :)