2005-12-01 @ 1:46 a.m.
Time: 6:29 1/2 pm. Wednesday Night. Rrr-iiiinnnngggg!!!!!!
Do I answer it or don’t I? I have caller ID and I know its my mother. Hell, of course its my mother, because who the hell else calls me now that I’m listed on the National Do-Not-Call-Me-Mr.-Telemarketer-Or-Die List. No one. I did have someone call me the other day and ask if Dave was there. I said there was nobody named Dave at this number. After a long pause they said, “You’re shitting me, right? I know this is Dave.” Me: “No, this is NOT Dave. I’m a girl. You have the wrong number!” Dickhead on the other line: (muffled, but still audible) “Hey Jim, Dave is fucking around with us. He’s acting like it’s not him on the phone (laughter).” Needless to say, I did hang up.
So why was I hesitant about picking up the phone? Because I do exactly one social activity a week. One. And I have been doing this social activity for over two years, on the same night, with the same departure time. For TWO YEARS. But, since I have intense Catholic School guilt, beat into me by nuns who I don’t think wore underwear and possibly smoked cigars during lunch, I did put down all my art supplies and picked up the phone.
“Hi mom, I’m just leaving.”
“Did you just call me?” (My mother uses this opening line at least 3 times a week).
“No, I’m just leaving...”
“I heard my call waiting click and I thought it was probably you.”
“No, it wasn’t. I’m just leaving....”
“Where are you going?”
(insert montage of nuclear explosions....cartoon character heads exploding....planets from Star Wars exploding)
“The same place I’ve gone for the last 104 weeks at 6:30.”
(insert me in fantasy sequence where I take my cordless phone and smash it 10,000 times on the kitchen counter and then take it out in the parking lot and run over it with my car 3,000 times and then drive to Rt. 81 and drop it off and watch it smash into 1.6 trillion pieces as 50,000 cars run over it).
....”my art class. You know, the one I’ve been going to for over 2 years. I’m just walking out to the door.”
“I was just talking to uncle K. He found out he’s diabetic today. And that his wife will never walk again. And your aunt’s eye is bleeding from the surgery she had three weeks ago.”
“Can I call you after my class?”
“Do you have your art class tonight? Did you go to work today? How did your car run?* (more on that later). I went outside today and swept some leaves off my front steps and...”
“Mom, I have to leave for my art class.”
“You uncle may have diabetes but he did do good on his stress test. “D” still won’t be able to walk though, even with those $1000 shots...”
“I gotta go!”
“I’m not really sure what I’m going to have for dinner. Did I tell you it takes two people to put together my new computer desk?”
Needless to say, I was late for my art class, but was able to produce an image of an ass.
Yesterday was so craptaculer, that when I dropped “A” an e-mail late in the afternoon, the only way he could respond was “That sucks”. And he doesn’t usually say things like that. But I was glad he did, because everyone else was kinda giving me an “Atta girl” and it was starting to piss me off.
As I mentioned recently, my car had been getting worse and worse with a loud scraping noise. My ride home on Monday was so scary, with the volume of scraping and thunking and sckreeeeeeeek noises, that I was actually shaking when I pulled into my parking lot. Because I really thought I would stomp on my brake and either a tie rod would puncture the side of my car or a brake would fail and I would crash into someone. And I really didn’t understand it, because I had just had my cousin Alan look at my brakes about a month ago and other than some rust, he had said they were probably good for another 6 months. But the noise had gotten progressively worse in the last couple of weeks and for some reason, I was really torn. I wasn’t sure if the car shop had maybe not replaced the tie rod and it was on the verge of breaking, or whether my cousin had misdiagnosed the condition of my brakes and rotors. But he’s my cousin fer chrissakes, why would he lie? So I was really leaning towards the tie rod scenario and I was particularly scared of that, because I had already had one bust on me two years ago and it had punctured the side of my car when it broke.
So I decided to talk to “A” about it Tuesday morning. His office is only a mile from my house. I figured I probably wouldn’t get maimed or disfigured in a one mile drive. hopefully.
He’s really the only person I have, and he’s the only guy I know who I could ask a dumb girl car question. He’s helped me out on numerous occasions and even helped me get one of my previous cars. I’m very lucky to have him.
So I told him about the noise and then after my session he came out in the parking lot with me and got in my car. Since I was just recuperating from a hard session I didn’t quite have the comedic chops to ask if his life insurance was paid up, since he was entering the Ford Tempo of Doom. But as soon as I stepped on the brakes, and it sounded like the Titanic scraping an iceberg, he said, “Its the brakes!” So I asked him where to go and he suggested a place along the boulevard, so off I went.
I was wearing my jaded rock star outfit yesterday. The black velvet tunic unbuttoned down to there. The extremely tight jeans. All the silver bangles. A new silver necklace for my pentacle. Black boots. No mistaking me for a soccer mom. But I’m not sure if it worked for me or against me when I went to Kost Tires for new brakes. I had to wait and see what was wrong. I was very uptight waiting. I paced. They did have a waiting room, but it was a bunch of old farts talking about our local college football team who just had their worst season ever. Bleegh. Why would I want to sit and listen to that boring shit. Especially when I look so groovy.
I did finally get the bad news. And it was bad news indeed for someone who lives on $750/mo disability. The brake pads and rotors on the right side were shot. Price? $428.
I didn’t cry. At least on the outside. On the inside I was weeping buckets. I’ve been very cautiously trying to save money for a new car, but its been difficult. I do have this little p/t job for $8/hr. But I only work 5-7/hr. a week. I think the worst part is: This car is 13 years old. Its a quivering bucket of rust. In the last month and a half I have already spent over $500 on it. In the last year, I’ve spent probably about $1000. This fucking rusted out piece of shit is only worth about $300. total...and thats only if I sold it to Stevie Wonder. And now suddenly I have to put another $428 into it?? Wait, I have to just say this one more time...
And unfortunately part of my negotiations with the car jock behind the counter was made more difficult by the fact that I live in The Village. The Village is populated by 99.99% rich yuppies. And here I’m telling him I live on $750. I would hope it would be obvious by the fact, that I am driving a steaming pile of rusted metallic shit. I looked at his estimate and saw 2 sets of brakes. I told him I only wanted to replace the one that was in bad shape. You know what he said? “Would you go to Walmart and only buy one shoe?”
Maybe if I was a one legged asshole...
See, I know I have to buy both sets, but this is why I needed a guy with me to negotiate this stuff. My velvet tunic top, which was unbuttoned down to there, seemed to help the negotiation a little. He started to slash prices after about 15 minutes of talking. I eventually got the price down to $350 plus tax. Was I happy? No. I still only wanted one brake. But I knew I needed to fix the damn thing because I need my car for my little eensy weensy $8/hr. job.
So everyone I told about this was, YAY, at least you got your car fixed. And you no longer have to worry. YAY! Well, I’m just saying I feel like I just tossed almost $400 into the air for absolutely nothing. As soon as I fix this, something else will go wrong. Because something literally goes wrong at least once a month with that fucking piece of junk car. How am I ever going to be able to save enough money to buy a car, if I have to keep shelling out $400-$500 every month or two? So at least “A” got the gist of my exasperation about having to spend money YET AGAIN on something that will probably fail in another month.
About the only thing that saved the day yesterday, was right after I pulled out of the repair shop, I was driving along the Boulevard and pulled up behind two cars. I was in a pretty bad mood, but then I looked up and saw something that I know was sent to amuse me. On the left was a car with a bumpersticker that said, “Love my nuts” and on the right was a car with a vanity plate that said, “A Long One”.
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty