The thing about Oil Pulling is it doesn’t pull itself. I can fill my mouth every morning, but nothing good will happen unless I remain vigilant about swishing the stuff around for twenty minutes. It’s not easy. My mind will wander and I’ll realize that two or three minutes have passed since I made any movement. At that point, I try to make up for it. I’ll swish extra hard. I’ll pull the oil back and forth through my teeth until my jaw starts to ache. But does that help? Does that make up for lost time?
I like to think it all evens out in the end, but I have no way to measure my progress. If only there was something tangible I could point at, some visible victory like when I was driving my car in traffic last Friday night.
As mentioned in my last post, I had friends visiting from out-of-town. Kim, Oliver, and I drove out to LaGuardia to pick them up. We left the house early. I expected traffic on the BQE but I was wrong. The road was so wide open that I stayed in the right lane and wouldn’t push the needle past 35 mph because I had time to kill.
We made it toTerminal B as Brian and Mike were walking outside. I parked, they spotted me standing out of the moon roof, and hugs were exchanged moments later. They climbed into the car and we drove off, our conversation light and airy as we went. We small talked our way across the Grand Central, asking questions and trying to fill each other in on the time that has passed. It didn’t take long to rediscover the natural cadence of our friendship, though, and we were back in the groove by the time we merged onto the BQE.
“There’s the Empire State Building,” Kim pointed out.
“Why is it silver?” Mike asked.
“I think it’s white,” I chimed in.
“There’s a site that tells you what the color’s for,” Kim said. Brian took his phone out to look.
“It’s white,” he confirmed. “Doesn’t say it’s lit for any occasion.”
We approached the Kosciusko. I expected a snarl, but not the line of brake lights that stretched out before us. There was road work going on near the Meeker Exit and the two right lanes were being funneled into the left, where we sat. Most cars obeyed proper etiquette. A few, however, tried to force their way in by cutting up the left shoulder. I saw them and decided they weren’t getting in.
“Not a chance,” I said, leaning forward in my seat and moving closer to the car in front of us. If I stayed vigilant, if I kept my bumper within kissing distance of the car ahead, there was no way the guys would be able to cut in.
I had no problem keeping the green Civic at bay. It was the Mercedes that worried me. It’s nose was close to mine. The driver and I made eye contact and he made the universal motion for “can I get in?” I smiled, shook my head, and inched forward.
“Don’t let him in,” Kim encouraged.
I looked back over and smiled at the girl in the backseat. She had her window down and pointed for me to let them in. Again, I shook my head and kept right on the car in front of us. We waited nearly forty-five minutes to get where we were. Why should I have to let them in because they followed a different set of rules?
I was relentless in my crawl. With no room to get in, and without the dedication to hit my car and prove a point, the Mercedes backed off. The victory was small, but it made my heart sing nonetheless. My vigilance paid off. I could have easily sat back and let him in, but I didn’t. I stuck with it and forced him to cut someone else.
When traffic opened up, my mind wandered back to Oil Pulling and the idea of vigilance. I won’t see the major supposed benefits this early in the game, but if I stick with it long enough, I will. Dedication to the cause may lead to a lifetime of better skin, healthier gums, and increased powers of levitation. I only wish there was something to prove that it’s not a farce.
If you’ve come this far, perhaps you’ll be willing to go a little farther. I’m trying to get a photo published in Relix magazine. Can you please visit this link and vote for my picture? I’ll totally be in your debt to the tune of four high-fives.