“There are always dinosaurs appearing when you don’t want them.” My roommate Miss Parker uttered these immortal words the other night while I was sitting on the couch with my Kleenex and orange juice watching the only thing on TV that my cold medicine-addled mind could handle, Jurassic Park III. Once my fit of giggles had subsided, we had the following discussion:
Me: But that’s the nature of the movie.
Parker (thoroughly exasperated): Yeah, but it’s like every five minutes. Give it a rest already.
The phrase stayed with me and struck me as quite a metaphor while I was sitting in my car, hazard lights blinking, off the 72nd S. freeway exit waiting for a tow truck to come and get Miss Parker’s car. All I had wanted to do that evening was curl up with a blanket on the couch, watch House and go to bed. I hadn’t gone to work due to the pernicious cold I’ve had for the last week, so an early bedtime and an uneventful evening was what I wanted. The uneventful part went out the window when a newscaster announced the building of an IKEA in Draper. Even sick, I had to do a little happy dance. But at 7:30, I got the call that Parker was stranded. Which is how I found myself sitting in my car by the side of the road pondering the metaphorical applications of Jurassic Park III.
How often in life do we complain about the omni-presence of ‘dinosaurs’? The problems, whether large and terrifying, or small and annoying, which seem to follow us through life. Last night it was Miss Parker’s car, a fairly recurring issue in her life. For me, it is a cold and $5 bank account balance (Mom, if your reading this, remember, I’m prone to hyperbole). Less immediate, but a seemingly much larger threat, is my complete confusion as to what to do with the rest of my life. Not all dinosaurs are hungry predators and not all issues in our lives are harmful, but even the gentlest brontosaurus is going to cause us fragile humans a little concern. It could crush us with its big toe! I’m pretty sure we can’t expect the last-minute rescue. Things are never as easy or as formulaic as in films, but I have to hope that at some point we will get more than a five-minute respite. Otherwise, I might have a nervous breakdown. Feel free to join me in the padded room.