Six Hour Drive

Friday, 28 December 2007 19:00 GFP Columnist - Haresh Daswani

Image"Just one right turn 2 blocks after, see the little laundry shop, make a left, and three stores after, there's where it is", reply of a slightly confused, middle aged convenience store owner inside the Gas station. Wherever this guy is going, driving for 6 hours does not seem to make any sense for his destination. None whatsoever.

And there stands our main character, thankful, as he proceeds to his car. A Japanese mid-size, he has a decent job. And now, he feels a strange twist inside his stomach, a knot that might look like if a boyscout were to go through your intestines and knot it around to something that would hold the base tent to the nail strong enough to withstand a small storm, or falling apples, whichever is the most imminent incident.

What drove our main character, who, by the way, if Gordon, for those who is thinking of his name, to drive six hours to a place I have not yet disclosed? Here's a hint. "In an argument between a husband and his wife, there are two sides of a story, the woman, and her mother. Yours did not matter". Yes, his mother-in-law has arrived, and has reached boiling point, 5 days of tolerating two loud women and Mexican take-outs. Gordon is looking for something to mend his mind off and cool him down.

"Women, like life, are only beautiful when they're mysterious, for it is in the innate nature of man to try to discover, in frustration sometimes, and understand the underlying cause of a woman being illogical, just like life. Once discovered, life, like a woman, is something you just go along by, and hope to coexist in utmost peace, for as long as it can hold."

Further to the discovery, "The only illogical point in life, seems to be women and Japanese VCR players, aside from Microsoft error screens. Take them out and life is actually simple and logical, like a stable machine".

It might have been noticed that Gordon is an intellectual, he is, and a quiet man with stomach problems at that. At this point in time, he is not after going to the toilet or the doctor, which is not as significant as what his main issue is. He wants peace.

From being a complete Atheist, he has pondered his curiosity to Buddhism, which offers one thing that got him curious, peace. And the peace he is seeking for, is 6 hours drive away.

He did not realize there was a temple a block away from his house.

He did now that he got to the temple and explained himself to the person at the lobby.

That did piss him off.

But for the strangest part, aside from causing greenhouse effects on his carseat, he did find peace driving 6 hours to the Buddhist temple. Asked what got him curious, in the middle of the whole argument, his TV was still on, and he saw some quiet monks who seem content.

While driving though, he has always thought that they might have been happy and peaceful because they weren't married to women.

But it is this frustration with two loud women that brought him this generality, as he can believe, for others seem to still be happily married, but he does suspect that his mother-in-law might have been majorly involved in some kind of conspiracy involving irritating straight men into becoming homosexuals. Anything is possible.

How did he end up with his wife? How did he end up not meeting hers and her mother in law's expectations of him when they don't meet his? What were they looking for in a man that he wasn't? That is the more important question.

Once the romance died off, which was two days after the wedding, all's hell.

And here is Gordon, in front of the temple, sweaty and confused. He does not know if he is sweaty because he is confused, or because of the Mexican food. But he does realize that he has to decide, now that he has traveled six hours.

And maybe that was his problem all along, to decide, to conclude, to justify and set his foot down. This might be what he needs to do all this time after all.

He decided to go in the temple, make the first left, and use the toilet. He then thanks the usher in the lobby and heads home with a good sigh of relief. Therapy and reflection did come to him after all, had he known all about the temple near his house, this might have been a different story altogether. But you know what, like life, he did get the intended lesson, and this might have been the story best to suit his needs at the time.

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