Just days ago while singing the praises of my overly charmed life, I pondered what was worth mentioning and what I could edit. One particular cut comes to mind. Hot Red Speed. I had written that I was blessed to have a car that starts each morning. With all of the other wondrous things for which I was thankful, that and another something or two were deleted and I went on my merry way.
It should come as no surprise to you that the minivan took that omission very personally. So on Monday as I left school, well, I didn't leave school. She cranked just as always, but couldn't quite make it over the hump. I tried three or four times and then sat for a minute or two in my rather chilly auto, hoping just a little patience and a quiet plea would do the job. No luck. So just as all good Howrey girls have done for many years, I called Dad. He's always good for a troubleshooting trick or two. He suggested that I find some starter fluid and spray it into the air filter. I really wanted to get home and I take Dad's car advice pretty seriously, so I headed back into school to see if Lab Partner Laura was still studying and could give me a lift to the hardware store about 1/4 mile away. She'd already left so I trekked through as many campus buildings that I could until I had to brave the outdoors and College Blvd. to purchase said starter fluid. I made it there, and then back to the car, only to realize that many of the tools that previously resided in the van had made their way into the garage or the house, namely the socket set needed to open the air filter casing. A few more pensive moments and then finally back into school where I figured I'd look up a tow service and find my way home. But when I got to the Science Resource Center, I thought to ask if security offered get-your-car-started help. Alas, they do! A call was made and help was sent. I was hoping for a socket set, but he only had a jump. I didn't think I needed it, but we tried anyway. No go. So back to the SRC and I googled then called a tow. Only 15 minutes later, it arrived, the driver played along with my starter fluid theory (it didn't work), and then he loaded up Hot Red Speed for a ride back to my neck o' the woods.
And while the gentleman from the towing company was doing his job, I fell apart. Bawling, sobbing, gasping, weeping. Crazy stuff! I had called Dad back, letting him know what was up but could barely talk. And I was ashamed. Why on earth do I have a right to be crying over a broken down car? So many live with such greater burdens. I could see I was being ridiculous and scolded myself (and perhaps that made me cry harder) and my father, in a moment of wisdom and sympathy said to me, "Everything breaks down eventually."
I pulled myself together (for the most part) and took in the cozy ride to my mechanic where the Fab Miss K (I'm trying out a new name for Study Buddy Kristen) awaited with a ride back to Casa del Mar. The haze began to lift and I could see how delightful everything in my life really is. Lab Partner Laura (who had already headed home when I looked for her) was willing to come back to school to get me home. Dad offered a spare car if the problem was bigger than my bankbook. Wasabi and Martin were both ready to jump in and help wherever needed. Concert Katrina was on top of the crisis as well.
Now, I don't like to drag my loved ones into my misery. Historically, I've been pretty dead-set on handling the mishaps life hands me on my own. But in the last year, I've lessened my need for complete independence (though it's still very very hard to ask for help). And back to that whole falling to pieces thing...I think I was weeping because I had lost control. These days, nearly every minute and every dollar are allocated weeks in advance. To lose an afternoon and who-knows-how-much-money was backbreaking. Or so I thought at the moment.
While chatting with Wasabi, I expressed that I hoped Hot Red Speed wouldn't betray me like gluten had. And I got my wish. A bad battery. That's it. No biggie. A day in the shop. A few more dollars than had I figured it out myself. And another reminder that I have the best friends in the universe.
And that includes you, Hot Red Speed. Thank you for being there for me.