Went to get my car tested for emissions today. I found the card they sent me in a pile of file cards with story ideas and instructions for my  computer. I was $20 in the hole because I was nine days late. I accepted that with a calm heart because it was my fault. I drove to the local Firestone dealer. Spent a while looking for a parking spot. After pulling next to a car parked in the driveway and moving to a back lot, I went in. There were two women in the waiting area and the bays were almost all empty. I walked up to the counter, asked if I could have my car checked for emissions and wound up looking at the smiling face of the service manager. All he said was; “Can you leave your car for two and a half hours?” Of  course not. That much time sitting there without my Nook and glasses was intolerable. Still in control I asked when would be a good time Saturday, tomorrow. Smiling he said “Seven forty five” . That way I could be first in line when they started the apparatus up. I smiled. “I’ll be there” I lied. Got into the car. There was an image flashing in that spot in men;s brains that sends them careening to some obscure place where what they’re looking for can be had in less time or for less money. A small, disreputable but honest garage was flickering on my frontal brain. I drove a judiciously as I could to said garage. There were two men in uniforms sitting on the front seat of some car lost to the recycling yard. I rolled down the window and said “You do emissions testing.” The goateed one said; “Used to, now you gotta go to Midas on New Britain Avenue.” This was going to take time. I headed for New Britain Avenue. It took me past the mall. An image of  a Midas Muffler Shop was projected on the screen in my frontal brain. It was right next to the bank and the place I got my hair cut. Went a little quicker than I should have and the nose of a police car peeking out of the service road for the golf course slowed me right down. Too bad for the car that passed me and sped off followed by said cruiser. I made a side trip to Target to pick up some things that I needed. I continued to the plaza with the bank. Mysteriously the Midas had been changed to Munro Mufflers. I parked and went inside. The cheerful counterman told me Midas was on New Britain Avenue but farther down, almost in Hartford. Crap, I hate driving anywhere near Hartford. I pressed on. Obeying the speed limit and pissing off a whole bunch of people behind me. They passed me and I kept looking. I passed into West Hartford, still no Midas. Hartford was looming and traffic was getting dicey. Audis and Elentras hugged the center line and I was bouncing into their line to avoid cars illegally parked. I made to the Hartford line and still no Midas. I passed my go-to place for directions the Hartford fire department. They’re great if you catch them between runs. They know where everything is. I continued and somehow I was passing the Capitol building and there was no Midas in sight. I was lost, horribly so. I knew where I was, but had no idea of how to get to familiar ground. I looked for signs pointing me to I-84. Somehow I missed a couple and wound up tooling down Park Street making sure the compass in the dash was pointed west. I started to have flashes of knowing where I was. I found a familiar I-84 on-ramp and headed home. Okay I might have exceeded the speed limit a tad but I got off 84 and onto Route 9. Route 9 is a speedway because the state spent a lot of time blacktopping sections of the road. I made it home, settled into the couch. My brother-in-law asked about my trip and I gave an abbreviated version. Then he said. “Why didn’t you go to Story Brothers?” Okay, another place to check out, next week and after a few phone calls to make sure I could get in and out.

While I’m posting this I’m listening to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions so I’m going to leave a couple favorites for you:

Listen, enjoy and I’ll see you Monday.