A Mechanic’s Patience

I stood back from the engine block, wiping sweat from my brow and cracking my neck with a groan.

         ‘Does it get easier?’ I asked the mechanic who had taken me in. He frowned at me from behind his wrinkles.

         ‘Does it look like it gets easier?’

         I sighed and wandered over to the door, staring up into the dusk sky.

         ‘You do that a lot you know,’ the mechanic called out to me, fiddling with a clamp on the engine’s main drive.

         ‘I miss it,’ I said, kicking the roller door. ‘And you said we’d be done fixing the Isadora by now.’

         ‘No I didn’t,’ he chuckled. ‘I said I hoped we’d be done.’

         ‘Right.’

         ‘Also, I was lying.’

         ‘I figured.’

         ‘It’s not often an old man gets an indentured apprentice to help him out in his shop,’ he chuckled, standing up to take a tray of parts to the machine washer. I couldn’t help but smile too – but only once his back was turned.

         ‘If you’re not careful, I’ll get my log book service from a mechanic near Lockleys,’ I jabbed at him. He snorted.

         ‘Good luck. It’s a long walk, and you’re not borrowing my speeder again.’ 

         ‘A long walk would do me good,’ I said, stretching out my back. ‘I’ve spent too long cooped up on this rock – my bones have started aching.’

         ‘Oh boo-hoo,’ the mechanic rolled his eyes. ‘Your poor, juvenile bones.’

         ‘You might be old, old man,’ I countered, ‘but I’m literally not built for this.’

         ‘You’ll get used to it,’ he sighed. ‘Just like everyone asking how to find mechanics who do electric car repairs – you get used to it.’

         ‘I don’t want to get used to it!’ I balled my fists up. ‘It’s been months of people telling me that I need to get used to it! I want to get back to my old life!’

         ‘It’s waiting for you,’ he nodded serenely. ‘You just have to be patient.’

         ‘I’ve never been good at patience,’ I sighed. He cracked a wry grin.

         ‘You get used to it.’