Old Dogs


I called
the maintenance man

the dryer
would run fine
for 30 minutes or so
then crap out
not starting again
for almost
an hour

the symptoms
to me at least
a technical expatriate
seemed to be those
of an obviously

I formed a basic
but workable diagram
in my now seldom-used
troubleshooting mind
and quickly ruled out
any wiring problems
due to the predictable
pattern of failure
leaving me with
either a faulty motor
which was getting
much too hot
and tripping thermal protectors
or the protectors themselves
sensing a false
over-temperature condition
and shutting off
a blameless

the man arrived
I presented my arguments
but he merely grunted
and shook his head
in a knowing fashion
and motioned for me
to watch

he removed
the dryer's service panel
exposing the motor
and thermals
but perhaps exposing
is a misleading term
considering the thick
insulating blanket of lint
covering all of the internals
and trapping enough heat
to trip the protectors
and drastically affect
the long term
drying capability

I had once
fallen for my own
technological trap
and as he sucked out
the offending lintv with a vacuum
I realized
that not even the best
of detailed drawings
and complex analysis
hint at the possibility
of foreign intervention
showing only
what is supposed to be
and not the presence
of any intruders
that may render
the equipment

those problems
can only be found
through physical inspection
and time-earned experience
mental repairs meaningless
unless the eyes are opened
and a firm hold taken
of the unruly subject
which regretfully
makes technology
a rather messy affair
aesthetics falling under
the overwhelming weight
of pragmatism

my rift
with applied science
is the chasm of frustration
that opens when the unforeseen
is introduced into the designv and all admirable traits
seem to disappear
leaving no other option
than to roll up the sleeves
and get the fingers filthy
discarding lofty ideas
for what is seen
directly ahead

even though
I have escaped
my technological dilemma
by fleeing toward unemployment
and pseudo-enlightenment
I have only found
that I must now try
to merge abstract thought
with commonplace rhetoric
for I have nowhere to hide
from my innate inability
to survive and thrive
on the middle ground
of everyday

oh well
he is gone
and the dryer

right now
seems better
or more real
than warm