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April 8, 2010

The Festival of Broken Things

Sure, I suspected it might be major when I barely -- just barely-- coasted into the mechanic station in the underground garage and turned off the ignition and heard my Jeep audibly gasp with mechanical dramatics. When the mechanic called me late in the day yesterday with the tense voice, using words like "drive train" and "differential" and "thousands" and "surprised you made it here without the transmission falling out on the 101" I sighed with my own audible dramatics. It's that time in my life when things break. It happens. And yet I am not hiding in the ladies room sipping from a flask. An accomplishment!

That was the scariest thing when my ex-husband unceremoniously dumped me, that worry about who would I turn to when I needed help? How would I do all this living alone, the money, the details, the backup ride to the subway? Who can pick you up from the dentist, who can listen when you need it? You figure it out though. It takes time. Work Jen saw me heading over to the garage in the afternoon to clean out my few belongings from my Jeep and she said, "How will you get home?" And she was genuinely worried about me (and lives nowhere near me, and knows I wouldn't ask her anyway though she is the sort of friend who would offer) but I knew I would figure something out. It's a skill I'm sort of proud of. I am the person you want to be near when a natural disaster strikes because I know, I KNOW, I can get us out and get us situated and get us drunk as skunks. I am resourceful, resilient and have a 20-pound handbag with all sorts of magic in it.

But secretly there is something about car trouble that renders me all belle-like and soft and needy and wanting someone else to be there. I have absolutely no safety net in life and most of the time I choose to feel challenged and independent about that whole scary no-safety-net thing. When my Jeep falls apart majestically (with actual metal falling from below) and all my other stuff is breaking and racking up expenses I start to get a little nervous, that's all. I guess. I go soft. Stupid car trouble.

By the way, comments are closed today because there are some subjects that no one, not even one with a full supply of independence and self-help books, wants more helpful advice about. For you perhaps that subject is your children, your weight, your hair, or maybe it's your love of the Kardashians. For me it's the subject of my Jeep and my weird relationship to car breakdown emotions.

It's a thing with me.

So I am Jeepless for now, for maybe weeks, who knows. Mass transportation I see you and raise you a token (hah) in appreciation. Well, anyway, I did say I wanted to walk more in April, yes?

- - -

As for the dead workstation that has all my project files and everything set up just-so-the-way-I-like-it, well, it was wheeled off yesterday by the IT Magic Man and I still have faith in him, we'll see what verdict he returns. Here's hoping PCs don't have a drive train. Don't worry, I didn't propose to him. I hear some women are desperate for children, I seem to be desperate for a man who can fix stuff. I'd love to trade my powers of mass breakage for the power to fix something.

I did back up all my data of course, because I know how I am with technology. But last week my backup drive stopped working. It just happened a few days ago so I haven't had time to buy a new one and now have no files and no backup. Oh and no car. (And while we are at it no clean socks.) So Magic IT Man took pity on me and is looking at my backup drive today, too. Fingers crossed that by end of day we won't be tipping out a forty to my ol' homie the PC.

- - -

Last night after accepting that I was Jeepless and knight-in-shining-armnorless, I took the subway home to the Valley and walked from the metro to the bus and then got off at the stop by the grocery store and bought as much wine as I could safely carry home. You would be surprised how much I can carry. I like solving my problems with a glass of cabernet, a bag of chips and some dumb TV. The Tivo seems operational. Life is good.

I'm glad my engine didn't fall out on the 101. I'm pleased that I can figure out how to get home and back with no car. I'm glad we have someone here at work so capable that I truly do have hope about my PC. And my backup. I'm glad they have a mechanic in the parking garage here so that I don't have to get my Jeep pulled out of the garage by a chain tow then onto a waiting flatbed in the middle of downtown then 40 miles to my other mechanic who may or may not be back in the pokey. I'm really glad I moved because now I can actually walk to a grocery store and honestly, that's the only place I go other than work, so as long as my legs keep working we're in business at Chez Merlot Meow Mix.

Now that I have listed all the happy glad bits and all, and said kumbaya and walked in a circle and burned sage and counted blessings and tried not to touch things I want to keep working, like my camera and my netbook, and also honestly copped to my dumb emotional weakness that comes with car trouble, well... Universe, can you move on to torturing some other person with breakitis? And I know just the person! May I suggest my Evil Arch Nemesis? I'm just saying is all.

But this is still working:
Cat cuteness. Pic taken with my cellphone as I am slightly afraid to touch my new awesome camera for obvious reasons.

Posted by laurie at April 8, 2010 7:01 AM