The NCT

Gilbert the car had the NCT (national​ car test today). I wrote this while I was waiting.

The small room of doom,
Stuffy and cramped.
I say silent prayers to the angel of automobiles if there’s such a thing.
My heart thumps, hands shake as I try to concentrate on my book.
I’m too early, hoping I’d get seen quicker but no such luck.

Trying to keep the panic at bay and furiously writing anything that comes into my head.
A man comes into the room wearing a hat and sunglasses. It’s not sunny.
He carries a battered laptop bag and marches up to the counter as if we aren’t here waiting at all.
I wish I had his confidence.

Three failures as I sit here, two minor, one spectacular. I’m still praying as I look around at bloodshot eyes and tense faces.
Finally my name is called, I go to stand, legs give way and hands shaking even more.
I had over my keys and manage to hold it together. My shaking legs carry me outside as Gilbert is put through the test.
I feel sick, it’s an effort to breathe, the band around my head is tightening. A thousand butterflies swarm around my stomach.

I feel like I’ve been here for a week. Finally my little green marvel makes an appearance. He passed! That particular panic is over for another year.

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