Triple A, My Friend

30 Jul

OMGosh. Can I say how much I LOVE Triple A??!! And no, this is certainly not a paid advertisement.

My car wouldn’t start yesterday. This is what went down…

I had pulled over into a shopping center parking lot because of a huge downpour slash thunderstorm. (Sidenote: I used to be terribly afraid of t-storms as a child and I would crawl under my bed where there were springs and metal wires and I would get my hair caught in aforementioned metal and one of my grandparents would have to come and remove the mattress to my twin bed and once they had to cut me out via hair loss. Now I’m down to 1/4 that afraid of t-storms. Instead of crawling beneath a bed or furniture I cringe really hard and tighten my shoulders and squinch up my eyes and ask forgiveness for my sins.)

So anyhoos, I pull over and wait the ugly angry storm out and since it’s like 1,000 degrees outside I kept turning my car “half-on” and getting some a/c. Wellll, seems my aging battery didn’t like that too much, for when the storm was finally over I turn the key and klumpt. Nothing. Nadda. Ugly. Me. Skeered. Panicky. My car’s life flashed before me. I wondered if I’d made that last will & testament to Dog Town. I quickly mused on the suburb I was in, how far away I was from my friend’s house that I’m currently staying at. (“Currently staying”–that’s an oxymoron.) Crazy, irrational thoughts traipsed through my mind.

I think a horror movie of a girl who broke down on the side of a dark road near an alley in Modesto in 1978 in a red Datsun on a hillside at 2:48 in the morning when she should’ve just left the party earlier passed through my head. Nevermind that it was daytime and I was nowhere near Modesto.

Breaking down slash having car trouble always, always unravels me. Suddenly the car I could love so much is a big metal burden of magnificent proportions. I snarl at it and talk mean to it. Then I panic because I know it hears me and could act even uglier. I tell it to act right or else. And then I purr at it like a kitty and stroke the dashboard and coax it to start right now or else!

So I call Triple A. (Ever notice that people often write “Triple AAA”?) They say they’ll be there “by 3:06” which was sort of funny to me. 3:06? Not 3:00 or 3:30 but “3:06.” So I sit there in my burdensome car and I think all kinds of neurotic thoughts.

What if it’s something major. Like the engine?

What if it’s the alternator? OMGosh. I don’t have alternator money!

What if Triple A never comes and I’m still sitting here at midnight and the shopping center’s closed and the police plant some stuff on me and find a reason to arrest me and–

Who’s that guy over there in the plaid shorts? And plaid shirt? Simultaneously?? My eyes hurt.

Geez, I’m hungry. I could use a hoagie right now.

Good thing I peed before this happened.

What if I have to get towed? Glad I have Triple A PLUS.

What if everything under my hood is broken?! How much does a bike cost? Gas sure is expensive these days.

I wish I was rich. I don’t care what people say about money doesn’t make you happy. TRY ME.

Gosh, this mosquito bite is really itching right now.

I wonder what the square root of 65 is.

Then, as if heaven has heard my neuroses, the Triple A van comes rolling into the parking lot and I run to him. I run to him like Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard. I’m this close to opening my arms and jumping in his lap. And kissing him on his cheek. And proposing marriage. Or offering him lunch with the coins I have in my kiddie cup, my emergency fund that purchases Slurpees and closes many poverty gaps on the road to fundraising slash art life.

But I don’t kiss or land on his lap or anything like that. He gives me a jump. My battery’s dead. He tells me not to stop on my way home for anything unless I want to need help again. Not those words, but you get the picture. I was gushing that it was “just” the battery. I was so happy to hear that engine turn over once he put those jumper cables on my weak baby metal. As I drove I had post-jump neurotic thoughts.

A year ago I had enough money to just buy another battery. What am I doing with this poverty art life? Why haven’t I had better “luck” yet? Is God peeved at me? Gosh, I’ve bitten my nails down so far I don’t even recognize my hands anymore. I sure wish I could just pull over and get a donut but, wait, I can’t cut the car off. That guy right there driving the Jaquar, I wonder what HE has in the bank. I’ll bet he doesn’t have to worry about the cost of a dang car battery, not to mention having two nails in one tire. I wonder if he’s hiring. Maybe I could do an old fashioned lemonade stand to raise money. I’m pathetic. I hate life. No, wait, I love life. I hate this. I wish I would just win this radio contest. I could really use paper money right now. My ankle itches but I’m driving and can’t scratch it. That would be awkward. And perhaps dangerous.

Oy. What a summer so far.

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