For the rest of you, don't say I didn't warn you.**
I've started writing this post like.. eleventy billion times but whenever I get about half way through it, something else happens and I just give up.
Two weeks ago, I got a call from The Amazon around 3:30pm, crying and in the throws of a hissy fit. Apparently, she'd gotten about half way to work over on the outskirts of Big City and lost the brakes in her little hatchback. She hadn't wrecked (thank God) and had managed to pull into a gas station. I left work at 3:45, exactly one our and fifteen minutes early, the EXACT amount of over time I'd scraped together earlier in the week, leaving me torn between "why can't I just get ahead a little" and "at least my check won't be short."
I got TA to work, dropped her off and decided that since it had been forever since I'd even left the holler, I'd head over to Big Lots and browse. It was the day before payday, so I was broke, but it was also TA's birthday and I wanted to get an idea of something to get her.
I spent about 30 minutes looking around, then headed out to the truck, where it was discovered that I'd locked my keys inside.
So let's process what we have so far, shall we?
I was 35 minutes from home. I'd just dropped TA off at work, carless, on her birthday. My keys were locked in the truck. I had NO extra set. No money. No one to call.
There is no lonelier time than when the shit hits the fan and you realize that you're completely alone and have no clue what the hell to do.
So I did what I always do in stressful situations. I sat on the bench outside Big Lots and cried.
Now, if you're cute young thing and you're sitting outside crying, someone will probably stop and help you, but when it's hot and more humid that Satan's sauna, your young days are long gone, cute just never was AND you're doing the ugly girl cry.. nay.. the sweaty old fat lady cry.. well..people tend to keep a wide berth.
I'm pretty sure I looked like a crack ho waiting on her pimp.
After sitting outside for a while, trying to get my hopeless shit together, I determined that the only thing I knew to do was try to find a coat hanger. Lord knows, it had been some years since I'd
First, I had to stop bawling and get it together. I didn't want to scare the people. Then I went in Big Lots, where they haven't used wire coat hangers since like 1968 or somechit. One employee offered to get me some bailing wire but the manager pretended like he didn't know what the guy was talking about.
Dude, if you're paranoid about being sued or something, just say no. Don't insult my intelligence and LIE about it, leaving your one helpful employee to stare you down by the service desk with a version of the stink eye that would have brought you to your knees, had you been a mere mortal and not one of those dreaded life forms.. THE RETAIL MANAGER.
I'm allowed to say that. I spent many thankless years in retail. Those who make it a long term career choice morph into something other than human. It's the endless hours with low pay and pissy customers. I can spot one across a crowded room with little effort.
Anywho, I also visited the auto parts store, where they used to have a slim jim but someone "borried" it and never brought it back and was making my way to the other end of the parking lot to the junky, former retail giant (more sweat, more tears, not a pretty sight,) when I happened upon a consignment shop and was happily awarded the coveted wire coat hanger.
I was like the little gray dude in Lord of the Rings.
(This is where, if I were at home, I'd load a fabulously photoshopped pic of Smeagol holding a wire coat hanger, but I'm at work and we don't have PS. Oh we NEED it, but instead of paying for software, we'd rather pay outrageous prices to an outside source to alter simple images. It's how we roll at The Asylum.)
When I got back to the truck, it dawned on me that I had no clue how to unlock it. Used to be, you just shoved the hanger between the glass and the door frame or thereabouts and popped the little thingie up. It soon became painfully obvious that this was no longer an option.
I did mention it was the day before payday right?
I thought about calling Sparkles, but he'd been on the road all week and had just gotten home. I knew because I'd called him when I had to leave the office to go pick up T.A. I really didn't want to bother him, even though he had told me to call him from now on when I got stranded, after my near death brake loss last year.
Once again, I tried to get my shit together and walked back to the truck. I got the coat hanger between the door frame and the body, but I couldn't get it over to the latchy thing. I was about two seconds away from banging my head against the driver's side window when something caught my eye as it flew past. The flashy little brown Mini Cooper whipped in to a parking space in the next lane.
I knew that car. There was only one like it anywhere near the holler. Sparkles, the Super Boss had telepathically detected that I was in distress and had magically appeared.. LIKE A MAGICAL FUCKIN' UNICORN!!
I flagged him down as he walked through the lot, towards Little Sleazers to get his poor ol' mom some supper. I was standing, still sorta crying, holding an unbent coat hanger by my truck.
"Oh, this isn't good. You've locked your keys in the truck." I sort of just nodded and he shook his head. "What are we gonna do with you?"
He tried for a while but he wasn't able to get it open. He called his buddy, a local cop, who has the same truck and asked him how to get it open. Officer Buddy told Sparkles that he'd just done the same thing down at Myrtle Beach the week before and he couldn't even get in to it with a slim jim. Sparkles told me to go sit back in the shade by Big Lots while he ran some pizza home to his mom. He came back a little while later and drove me all the way back to the holler. The next morning, he picked me up for work, ran me home for lunch and back, then took me all the way back to Big Lots after work to meet the locksmith, who, by the way, only charged me $40. He was an old high school buddy of Sparkles.
Problem solved, right?
One would think.
The Amazon's car is still sitting out at the gas station. She didn't have enough money to get it towed, but we were working on figuring something out. I've been driving to work, then home for lunch. T.A. was taking me back after lunch, then driving my truck to work. Sparkles took me home every day.
Dude is getting a huge cake on boss' day. Chocolate. And a humpday camel t-shirt if I can find one. Sparkles loves him some humpday camel.
Then, the other day, I got another phone call from T.A. She'd made it to work, but the brakes went out on the truck when she got there. T.A. was crying and threatening to go lay down in traffic. Later that night, an exchange of more texts revealed that not only was fluid leaking from the rear, there was stuff running out of the front too.
Jolene was hemorrhaging from both ends.
At this point, one no longer sits and cries. One throws ones hands up in the air, looks skyward and screams "WHAT THE FUCK??? REALLY?????" I mean, how does this even happen?
It took until the next day to realize, that it may have actually been me who screwed up Jolene's underbelly. The town had cut our water off for a few hours while they installed a new fire hydrant next to my driveway. When they pulled out, they noticed the giant hole where a puddle has formed. The hole has been there so long that the frogs moved in last year some time and had laid their eggs there. It had developed it's own ecosystem. So the town guy took pity on me and filled the pond with shale, for which I was eternally grateful. I was so excited that I took the first opportunity to drive through the former pond, without taking the time to spread the shale evenly about beforehand.
Yeah. I'm pretty sure I ripped something loose on the brake line I had put in less than a year ago.
For the past few days, Sparkles has been carting me back and forth to work and home for lunch. We got paid today, so I had T.A. call our favorite tow truck driver. He rescued her and Ma so much when T.A. was growing up, that he still calls her "Little'un." They went to get Jolene and drop her off at the garage here in town. It was $90, but we'll get half that back from the insurance. She sent me a text on their way back to the holler. The tow truck almost ran out of gas on the way back. The Amazon has decided we're cursed for real.
Jolene will probably have to sit at the garage until Monday, but that's okay. I just hope it's something simple.
In other news, I had one of my epic puke fests night before last. After consulting WebMD (don't judge, I pay for insurance but our copay has gone up so much I can't afford to use it) I've decided it's probably an ulcer. It's no wonder. I've stocked up on the pink stuff and I'll go down to the dolla store for some DG purple pills.
Sometime between locking my keys in the truck and tearing it up, I had to meet with a "visiting" nurse that sees Ma at the nursing home a couple of times a week. She was hellbent on my filling out a new form for what to do when and if Ma gets bad off. You know, whether or not to do CPR, feeding tubes, etc. I was like.. but she's not really sick. I mean, there's nothing bad wrong with her, right? That's when the nurse informed me that she didn't expect Ma to last another year.
Sometimes, it just seems like life is too much. Just. Too. Much.
I'm tired ya'll. My brain is tired. My spirit is tired.
So anywho, I'm taking off Monday and Tuesday so I can get some stuff done around here. I'm going to get the old, dilapidated dryer moved to the curb, clean the house and work on the new website. I'm also trying to find a new jammy job, I've got some nibbles.
For now, I'm going to stretch out and watch 24. I never got a chance to see it when it ran on the bewb tube so I'm watching it from the beginning on Netflix. I don't care how bad you think your day is, Jack Bauer is having a worst one. Seriously. That dude must be on some high powered meds. I almost have an anxiety attack just watching it.
I'll also be taking a moment or two this weekend to give thanks for Sparkles. He's good people.
Ya'll have a good one. I'll keep you posted.