Compact

Compact: (n) something that is a small and conveniently shaped

“I had no business…”

I can recite a litany of mistakes I’ve made, all of which could begin with that phrase: “I had no business.”

In other words, if I sat and thought about it for five minutes, some conscious part of me would have raised a loud objection, or even screamed at me to avoid such a foolish path.

One of these occasions in my life–when “I had no business”–was when I bought a Ford Fiesta Ghia.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

It’s what they call “a compact car.”

It is adorable if you happen to be a small person, or I suppose even a normal sized person. Then the car would be applicable.

It is not luxurious. It is cheap. (And there might be some place inside where there’s a windup key, but I was never sure.)

I had no business, as a very, very large man, ever purchasing such a car.

But pridefully, because it was on sale and I could actually afford it, I squeezed myself into it at the dealership. The salesman lit up my ego by saying, “Oh, my goodness! You got in there pretty easily.”

That was all I needed.

Actually I did not get in there easily. It was almost like I had to ship my parts in one at a time, before I could finally allow my caboose to arrive in Penn Station.

The steering wheel was too close. I tried to push the seat further and further back, until one day it just broke. Either they didn’t have replacement seats or I was too embarrassed to admit I broke mine, but I decided to prop up the broken piece with chunks of wood. (For a very brief time, it worked–until the metal started chewing into the wood, making my back seat floor resemble the sawdust from a lumber yard.)

I had no business owning a compact car.

There. I said it.

Now I’ve reached an age when, if I was actually able to get into a compact car–if I could struggle to achieve it–I should do so with my last breath … and call it my coffin.

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Coffin

Coffin: (n) a long, narrow box in which a corpse is buried or cremated.

Staring down into the face of my older brother, who was quite dead, lying in a coffin, motionless, with eyes closed.

It freaked me out–mainly because I was staring at the bier. That’s another word for coffin. Now I’m just trying to show off. I tend to do so when I’m nervous. And looking at a coffin made me nervous.

Until that moment, I did not realize that I suffer from claustrophobia. Even though I was supposed to be the strong brother to support my nephew, sister-in-law and all the other relatives, I temporarily had to excuse myself and walk away to try to regain my state of mind.

All I could think about was lying in that coffin, scrunched, and having the lid shut down on my face. Every time that vision came to my brain, my heart started to pound and I found it difficult to breathe.

I was embarrassed.

I wanted to make sure no one observed my panic attack, so I found a private room and stepped inside. Unable to locate a light switch, I stood in the dark, finding no comfort whatsoever from my vision of horror.

Even though I am certain there was nobody in the room with me, I sensed a thought floating across the blackened space, landing in my consciousness. It wasn’t exactly verbalized, but it was very comforting.

The notion translated to my irrational thinking was, “Keep in mind, when you go in the coffin, you don’t have to breathe anymore.”

I laughed. It was so true. By the time I was fitted–or unfitted–for this box, I would be without the need for much of anything.

And of course, if it still freaked me out, they could always burn me up.

 

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