FOR THE WEEK OF APRIL 2, 2007
I definitely identify with Monk. I get the message that the writers are trying to convey. The writers constantly give Monk a glimmer of hope. When Adrian goes against his better judgment, as cynical as it may be, he gets leveled - just like life. Well, for a few peopleÖ
Compulsions dictate my actions, and one day Iíll find myself curled up in a ball too afraid to get out of bed. I have a hard time going out. Iím completely plagued by fears of all kinds. But there is one scene that sums up my main fear. Itís when Monk sits in front of a blank page and the doctor confirms that Adrian is having difficulty drawing a self-portrait because he is afraid it wonít be perfect. Ah, the pursuit of perfect. This may be a noble goal, but only if you are willing to fall short. Falling short means settling for less or reallyÖfailing.
I bought a new car. When I got it home I cleaned it. It took me about 14 hours. I swept it and got all of the carpet to lay one way. I had new car mats placed perfectly and plastic mats on top of those to protect them from getting dirty. The glass was perfect. There were no streaks. The tires were clean and the silicone was even. I cleaned the engine and the tire wells. The wax job was smooth and the paint was perfect. As I waxed the car I began looking closer at the paint and noticed a slight imperfection. I ignored it. Besides that, it was perfect. But itís not perfect. Itís just perfectly clean. But I wasnít able to reach a few spots in the engine. So maybe it wasnít perfectly clean either.
I had to let two people in my car. They both commented how clean it was. As they mentioned the things they were impressed with, they had to touch them as if vocalizing it wasnít enough. I had to have the Vanna White of compliment givers in my car. After people are in your car, you can smell them for days. They bring dust, dirt, germs, hair, sweat and hundreds of other things that just simply canít be removed. Itís like walking half way to a wall. Each time you get fifty percent closer, but you never reach the wall. Most disinfectants only claim to kill 99.9% of household germs. So, you do the math, how long does it take for your car to become a cesspool?
I have to drive this car to work. Each trip is exactly 14.3 miles to work and another 14.3 back. A nice even 28.6 when I get home. The car is still clean by most standards after each trip. Dust on the dashboard is visible; there is some grit on the exterior. The tires sprayed some silicone and picked up a few pebbles. The steering wheel feels a little dirty from touching it. The carpet is definitely dirty. For three weeks, I cleaned the car every day. Each trip took it further and further from the wall of perfection.
One day while I was waxing the car, I noticed a little chip. The next day I found another. It had been raining; itís getting harder to keep up. The windshield wipers leave some kind of imprint that becomes visible over time. My arms are sore. My fingers hurt from pressing them into tight spots until they finally start bleeding. My hands are getting rough and cracked from the wax. My wife is mad at me because I donít sit down with her at the end of the day to relax. I work on it while sheís asleep. I canít concentrate at work. My daughter misses me. Iím calling in sick and going in late to work. Itís getting hard too keep up.
My wife stopped cleaning my rags. I bought 100 micro fiber clothes. They are great Ė Nobel Prize worthy. I usually go through about 20 in one cleaning. So every day she had to do a special load so that I could be okay in five days. Another little cruel joke was that I was born colorblind. I ruin clothes when I wash them. When I lived on my own, I only wore one color, so it wasnít a big deal, but women try to change their husbands until one day, you canít even pick out a tie without her opinion. Anyway, I ran out of rags. Paper towels are just terrible. They leave dust, so I was crippled. Iím forbidden to use the washer and dryer. And another lapse of judgment of mine was to let her pick out the couch. I call it the iron maiden. I donít like sleeping on it, so Iím usually on my best behavior.
Needless to say, the car is a mess. Itís not going to be redeemable. There is no way to restore its former glory Ė simply ruined. The garbage man thinks Iím just parking my car on the curb, and so does my wife. I called my insurance company and found out that they wouldnít replace my car if I put a sign on it that said, ďSteal me!Ē Iíve called and asked a few questions on the subject of replacing my car. Iím not completely convinced they record your conversation for just quality assurances. I wonder if the Miranda Rule applies hereÖ
Now take my battle with my car and apply it to everything in my life - everything! Itís crippling knowing that it will never be perfect no matter how hard you try. For example, how was a ruler made? Something had to make the tool that made the ruler. How was it created ďperfectly straightĒ? And what about the tool that made that? Eventually you have to settle for some variance of mediocre. Perfect doesnít exist Ė so why try.
Itís the same thing with Monk. Heís never going to get better. Heíll never get any closer to solving his wifeís murder. When he starts coping with his wifeís death, he goes through the trauma of seeing her again. When he thinks he has a friend, it turns out to be a lie. There just isnít any hope.
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