Responding Poorly to Emergencies

Today I had finally managed to lock my keys in my car.

While the engine was running.

I was trying to do four things at once. With my attention divided enough, I got out of my car and bumped the door shut. Out of habit, I lock the door after I open it. I do not have automatic locks.

Long story short, I don’t know where my spare keys are. It’s been thirteen years since I got them. I have never needed them until now. So, at the mercy of roadside assistance, I had to wait several hours to get someone out to jimmy the lock.

During that time, my head wasn’t in a good place. It still isn’t in a good place. I thought I was going to have to break a window. I thought I was going to have to get towed. I thought about how I can fuck up managing my car keys.

Embarrassment isn’t even on the immediate list of things I’m kicking my ass about. It’s down a few notches, below the anger at myself for never making spare keys to replace the ones I lost. Sure, everyone locks their keys in their car. But for thirteen years, I hadn’t. The one time I do, it’s in front of an audience.

I got confused and panicky. I wasn’t thinking straight. All I could do was dwell on how publicly fucked I was. Yeah, I want to be mad at roadside assistance for screwing things up. But if I hadn’t fucked up in the first place, none of it would have been necessary.

Hours after getting in my car, after getting home, getting to a safe place, I am still coldly raging at myself. My mind isn’t slowing down. It relives everything, holds onto that feeling of disgust at my ineptitude. And there’s nothing I can do except ride it out.

It bothers me that while I was mentally breaking down inside, I lost my capacity to fully think. All I could do was dwell on what I did wrong and what extremes I had to go to in order to fix it. While I didn’t fully melt down on the outside, I was running myself ragged inside.

Moral of the story? I can look like I’m not panicking while burning myself down to the filter.