The meeting lasted an hour and ended when I got up and walked away. I’ve met her only once since then, ten years ago.
At the time I ran a car, and recorded my odometer reading each time I bought gasoline, recording also what I’d paid and the price per litre.
I charted my consumption, and interesting it was, too, for in those days I did some long distance trips as a relief for all the scooting around town delivering training.
I knew that the breakup was coming; tension was in the air each time we met.
I knew I had to end the relationship, but I didn’t know how.
Walking stiff-legged out of the coffee shop was not the kindest thing I’ve done, but it might have been the smartest.
Two years later I was using my gas readings as exercise data in class.
“Chris, why is there a peak there?’ came the question.
The peak in gasoline consumption reflects that in the weeks leading up to the breakup I was under stress.
When we are under stress we drive erratically; I’d been braking more, accelerating with ferocity, and I suppose generally behaving like an ape behind the wheel.
It’s hard to see in the image above, but in the two weeks immediately after the breakup, my gas consumption began to come down, and after two weeks, it plummeted down to its usual level.
I reason that the first two weeks after the breakup saw some stress shed from my life, but at the two-week point I KNEW she was gone, and the load dropped off like a sack of stones.
Record your gasoline consumption and plot the trend.
Then go back to those peaks and work out what it is that causes you stress.
And get rid of it.