So there I am, driving to work this morning, late as usual.
I am listening to some Zeppelin on the shitty radio, freeway bound towards the 70's flashback health food emporium wherein I work.
Suddenly the car seizes up. Dies. In the fast lane of the 10 West.
I muscle it over into the shoulder, nearly crushed by the onslaught of speeding SUV's.
Latte guzzling urbanites honk their boxter horns at me in a blaze of yuppie.
My cel phone being somewhere under my laundry strewn bed, I am left to walk to the nearest call box.
It is windy and cold.
I am jacketless and caffeine deficient....morning person I am not, so I am in an about to go postal kinda mood.
I pick up the SARS covered receiver, and accidentally press the button for Spanish.
Ten minutes later, after much exasperation, I realize that not only do I have to hang up the phone, but actually CLOSE the cover on the box in order to start over in in my native tongue of white boy.
I don't have auto club, so I have to wait nearly one hour in the cold for a free tow to arrive. Luckily, I find an extra small North Face jacket in the rear of the car belonging to my friend Marisa, who I recently bought the car from. I am too afraid to sit in the car (it isn't much warmer in there anyway, as the back window is missing), so I stand by the call box in my tight jacket that makes my six foot frame look like a cross between the Michelin Man and a 185 pound marshmallow.
After deducing that it is neither the battery nor an empty gas tank that made the car into a two ton paperweight, the tow guy hoists my Swedish wagon up onto the back of his monster truck. As I said, the back window is blown out so shit is falling out the back as he does this and blowing across the freeway. I laugh a demented laugh that makes the guy look a little nervous and I hitch a ride with my knight in shining coveralls to the nearest drop point.
We get the car to a residential street that allows overnight parking, and I say my goodbyes and thank you's and walk to a nearby library where a payphone will afford me the opportunity to spend what is left of my laundry money in a desperate call to my girlfriend who I pray will come and rescue me. One problem, the library is closed. I find this out from a crabby woman eating a Snickers bar and drinking a double gulp. I say, "when does this library open?". She says, "12 noon, read the sign!" in a snotty tone. I say, "life might be more fun for you if you weren't so crabby"...as I say it I realize that I am talking to myself.
I walk to a nearby park where I find a public phone inside a daycare center filled with screaming children. I feel like lying down and having a tantrum, in the hope of some milk and cookies.
My girlfriend comes to rescue me, and by this time I am feeling REALLY sorry for myself.
I get a ride to work, and spend the day morbidly depressed and exhausted.
There is a regular customer at work, an older guy who I have befriended and I assume will be there to ask for a ride home. On this day however, he is nowhere to be seen.
My shift ends. On my way to relieve my bladder of the iced coffee I just drank, I see him. He is filling his plastic baggie with some organic trail mix. I ask him for help. He not only gives me a ride home, he offers the use of his AAA card. When he drops me off, he comes in and we end up laughing together and having a grand old time looking at old Playboys and talking about life. He ends up buying two jackets I have for sale. This gives me cash for the weekend. He also takes me to the market and buys me some groceries. I feel like crying as I watch him pay for my milk, coffee, water and toilet paper...(what more does one need?).
Tomorrow he is going to come over again and help me get my car to the mechanic. I thank him profusely. He says, "hey, no problem, it'll be an adventure!".
I had forgotten that word.
Shame on me.
Life is nothing but good.
I am blessed.
My car is fucked up, I feel directionless and depressed, and I am damn near broke, but you know what?
I am fine.
Sitting in my apartment, drinking tea, safe, sound, dead tired, protected, loved, human, being.
Life is one damned thing after the other, but it all comes out in the wash.
Unless you are out of quarters.