My friend OKJimm gave me this song a long time ago when I was just an absolute disaster and didn’t think I was going to be able to stand up again and keep walking (I’ve had a lot of those so it really shouldn’t be all that big a deal but every time it happens it does indeed feel like the end of the world when it’s happening and sometimes, for you John Irving fans, we have to remind ourselves to keep passing those open windows). So this weekend he posted it for another friend on FB and I saw it in my feed and instantly teared up because I sure did need it (not nearly so bad as the time he actually gave it to me but I sure did need it on a Saturday night).
Sometimes everything you think can go wrong does go wrong and you’re pretty sure you’re on your knees and you fall forward and bang nose first into the pavement because you’re not fast enough to get your hands out in front of you to break the fall because sometimes life comes at you just a little too fast just a little too incessantly and that’s just the way it is. I’m telling you, sometimes the shit just does not let up.
A note on that. My life could be one hell of a lot worse. I could be uninsured, unemployed, unfed, homeless, dodging bombs, avoiding (or not) genocide, searching for missing children and a whole lot worse – I *am* keeping things in perspective – more or less - but shit is still shit.
Almost exactly 6 years ago Asshat’s (Imma gonna call him that today) 4Runner was slammed into a Subaru via a 5 series BMW which vaporized the BMW’s front end (yes, you read that right, vape-oh-rized) but left the passenger compartment completely intact) and literally buckled the truck frame on the 4Runner. The Subaru isn’t relevant to this story. We had to replace the 4Runner 6 years ago this month and I really thought we were going to end up with another 4Runner or something like that but somehow we ended up with a 2004 6 speed X3 with only 13,000 miles off lease. I’m going to say it had only 13,000 miles on it because whoever took this damn thing home found out just how hard it is to drive a high performance vehicle when you actually have to navigate the gears AND the vehicle and garaged the damn thing. Mostly. That’s my theory anyway. So we took this thing home, me sorta kinda mostly embarrassed even if it was a whole lot of fun to drive and I kept driving my Mazda 6 until the day poor Lucia wrapped it around a tree and the rest of how I ended up with the X3 isn’t worth talking about right now *except* that it was a bad idea and I think in the last 5 years I’ve probably dumped close to 15k in maintenance, never mind the four years of car payments I stuck myself with in my pre-divorce idiocy (yes, I love you, I’ll give you whatever you want – I KNOW that’s disgusting, but in the interest of full disclosure…).
So. I just needed to get this damn thing to February. That was the plan. Get it to February, sell it for something at least, take bonus dollars and buy something with better gas mileage, cheaper maintenance and quite honestly most things are going to be more durable than this thing has turned out to be. Also, I’m hard on cars. I drive them a lot. That’s just the current truth and I need to face it. So the registration on this thing expires on 11/26 and I need it to pass emissions and I take it to my friend Timmy who HAS been telling me to dump this piece of crap and STOP sinking money into it and on Friday I get THAT call.
Dump the car. Now. I can’t take blood money from you. We changed the oil and replaced the headlight bulb but that’s it. Take it to a dealership on Saturday and get yourself something off lease. Do it right now. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Do not stop to think because here is what’s going to happen to you if you don’t. There was a litany of things that started with $1,100 for brakes (this isn’t even starting with what has to be done to get it to pass emissions) and ending with what is probably going to have to be done to get it through February which sounds like close to 6k. I can’t get more than 4k for it given the body work it would need to have done AND what he just listed off. He isn’t messing with me. This is Timmy.
I stopped breathing.
I started crying.
I’ve known Timmy since I was sixteen. Big guy. Picked me up the way big guys pick up little girls (I guess he’s got one or two years on me tops) and I said put me down. He said make me. I reached out and pulled his ears. He dropped me and cried. We were inseparable. I had a home in his garage. I’m pretty sure I already told this story.
Timmy said: (very gently but very firmly) Now is not when we cry, now is when we plan.
That’s the truth, actually. As it turns out.
Clear your head and keep going. You can fall apart when it’s over.
But really. What the fuck? I was NOT prepared to buy another vehicle right now. Seriously not prepared. There was NO air in my lungs. I’m still in the middle of the close. Things have been extra harsh around here. I’ve been running on empty for awhile and really, it is almost over but almost and actually over are two different things. We’re not there yet. NM was smarter than me. I thought about dancing in the city on Saturday, he said it might be a good idea if I just rested. This was before I knew I was going to have to shop for and actually acquire a car in one day. That turned out to be a cluster in the end but sometimes these things do (turn out to be a cluster in the end).
So here’s the thing; without going into details because the details aren’t particularly important to the point (and I could write pages about how I feel about buying cars); my experience of the weekend (one freaking thing after another) was so awful that when I walked into my Monday staff meeting and my boss was at his breaking point - that makes for a rugged meeting (shit flowing downhill and all that) - I sat in that room and looked over at my two year peer (not the lovely third wheel) and made sympathetic faces at him. We both wanted to cry but I was damn happy to be there.
I feel really sick. I’ve had a migraine for days.
I’m remembering the day Florkow showed up early in the morning at my doorstep when the shit had REALLY hit the fan and she sat with me and she looked at me and she said
Alecto, it doesn’t have to be like this.
She and I go way the hell back. We bonded over the single mother business. Over having to do it alone. Over, what did you say, Florkow? I do it because if I *don’t* do it, who the hell *is* going to do it?
Now is not when we cry. Now is when we plan.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
I do it because it is mine to do.
OKJimm, I don’t need this as much as I needed it the first time but it sure was sweet to hear it again and I still cried anyway. It is good to cry.
And it's good not to be alone.
(I don't have car in hand yet, by the way. I'm holding my breath at the moment. I'll let you know when it's all sorted out. And I WILL sort it out. This I know.)