Friday night, after work, I was on my way to get a new tattoo.
Something to help me remember what a dickhead Loverman was for our Sk8-Venture 2014.
It’s going to be a tribal art broken heart, as close to over my heart as possible.
I was so excited to get it done!
But my car broke down on my way to the tattoo shop.
You know, the car that drove us all the way to Kansas City and back last week?
First, the battery light came on.
Next the radio started turning off then back on.
Then the blower for the heater started slowing down enough to make me notice.
After that I realized that the dashboard lights were way too dim.
I was sitting at a stoplight in Friday-night rush-hour traffic and it dawned on me what was happening:
My alternator is dead and the car is running only on the battery.
I looked at the reflection of my headlights in the back of the shiny truck in front of me. They were barely lit at all and I realized that if I did not pull off the busy street immediately, I was going to be stuck in the middle of a main thoroughfare at 6PM pissing off hundreds of people trying to start their own awesome weekends.
I was halfway to my destination when I was forced to pulled over. I called the tattoo shop and texted the tattoo artist to tell them I wouldn’t be able to make it *sigh* My car broke down.
They were totally awesome about it and told me to call back and reschedule when I could.
At that point I called Loverman because he is the only person I have who can help me out when shit like this happens.
And, he’s my fucking mechanic!
The husband, Doom-n-Gloom, doesn’t have a driver’s license, so I don’t usually call him until I have things figured out — he can’t really do anything to help anyway.
Loverman didn’t answer his phone. I was disappointed, but definitely not surprised.
I walked up and down the street a few times struggling with my emotions; trying not to freak out. It was hard, but as soon as I reminded myself that I have AAA, I was able to take a breath and began to un-hunch my tensed shoulders (which I hadn’t realized were so very tight until that point).
I spent the entire rest of the night trying to relax my shoulders. I knew that if I could relieve some of the tension I was holding there, it would release some of the tension I was feeling in my chest.
Just as I was starting to call AAA, Loverman called me.
After some uncomfortable ‘pleasantries’, I explained completely what had happened then answered all his questions. He said, “It sounds like the alternator.”
“I figured,” I responded. Then I explained to him that I was just about to call AAA to get the car towed back to my apartment because there wasn’t much anyone could do with it Friday night in the dark.
I reminded him that he was supposed to put the catalytic converter back on my truck, Bear, “as fast as he could”, also I had to remind him that I don’t want to drive my truck around anywhere without a large section of my exhaust – it’s way too loud!
Since I was going to have to drive my truck because my car was down, I really needed Loverman to help me ASAP Saturday morning.
We had a misunderstanding about when he was working a 12-hour shift and I begged him to please help me Saturday morning. He conceded, we said our good-byes and I called AAA from inside the McDonald’s on the corner.
As expected, I waited on hold and was helped eventually, but then I was told it could be up to a 300-minute wait!
Oh my god! It was freezing-ass cold outside and 300 minutes was going to put my ‘rescue’ at midnight-oh-two!!
I walked over to the door to see if I was lucky enough to be in a 24-hour McDonald’s. It was, but the inside closed at 11PM. I decided an hour waiting outside in the cold wouldn’t be so bad if I could stay somewhere inside until then, right? Probably AAA wouldn’t even take that long anyway – even the customer service rep said that.
We couldn’t have been more wrong.
On top of this all, my phone was dying and I happened to stop at the only McDonald’s in modern-day civilization without electrical outlets for customers to use. All the outlets were on the ceiling, too high for me — I would have had to ‘hang’ my phone. So, I wandered outside and found an outlet on the side of the building that I was able to use, but it was outside and it was only 15 degrees and it was dark.
While I called Doom-n-Gloom and told him everything that was going on, I stood outside waiting for my phone to recharge for a few minutes. When it got unbearable and the phone seemed to have enough ‘juice’, I went back inside and got myself a bacon chicken mcwrap and a sweet tea. Then sat down wishing I had brought a book along with me that day.
Especially after a homeless man sat in the booth next to me and struck up a conversation about horrible families and then another about women selling their bodies for sex.
Then he asked, “By the way, have you ever considered sex for money?”
I just looked at him, then I looked at the gentleman in the booth behind me hoping that he had been listening in on the conversation and was ready to help me in case I needed it.
The homeless man then said, “It wasn’t a pick-up line or anything. Jeesh!”
To which I replied, “Good! Because it was a very bad one.”
We sat at our own tables in uncomfortable silence for about 10 more minutes when he looked at me and said, “Well, I guess I’m outta here then.”
“Best of luck to you, dude. Stay warm,” I said to his departing figure.
I spent over an hour trying to floss my brain of that encounter.
Two hours after I had made my call to AAA (almost exactly), my phone buzzed. It was Loverman and we had a brief text exchange:
Loverman called and we
argued talked about how he wanted to come and pick me up so he could leave me with his truck for the night.
I wanted nothing to do with that! I kept telling him that I would just wait for the tow truck and take my lumps (it wouldn’t be so bad, right? He has to work outside all night in the freezing cold, I can bear an hour or two). I also kept explaining to him that I didn’t feel comfortable taking his truck and keeping it overnight — I no longer feel that we are at that place in our
Eventually, he listened to me and understood the words that were coming out of my mouth: instead of making himself late to work by coming to ‘rescue’ me, he was able to get to work on time and safely.
He actually did what I asked him to! He stuck to the fucking plan and went to work instead of coming to pick me up!
There’s a first time for everything, right? Trust me, though, I am not going to get used to it.
Now, let me tell you this:
When I parked the car in this neighborhood, I knew it wasn’t a good one, but I also knew it wasn’t a bad one. If I had been having a ‘decent’ week (like normal!), none of these things would have happened. And possibly it was fate’s way of making sure I really wanted to get the tattoo before I have it permanently etched into my flesh. (BTW – I still do. Even more now, after what happened Saturday, but you will have to wait to hear about that until my next post 😉 )
The homeless man didn’t really surprise me or freak me out and I was joking about the “brain floss” on that one. It did leave me feeling alone and vulnerable (I was grateful for the man sitting in the booth behind me watching the entire thing), but nothing like how I was going to feel next!
Apparently, one of the McDonald’s employees had an enemy.
A man started circling ‘our’ McDonald’s in his car with another man hanging out the window waving a gun.
After a few drive-by’s, someone came running out of the kitchen hollering that he just got a text to look out the window. He looked out of a window close to my booth and said, “Oh my God! He’s really gonna do it! He’s gonna shoot my car!” Then the idiot ran outside to do whatever and a different employee called the police.
There was a lot of yelling in the parking lot, near that employee’s car, but the car with the gun left eventually.
It took 37 minutes for the police to arrive — 3 squad cars and 6 officers — only to find that the drama had passed. But, they decided to clear out the restaurant anyway because it was “safer”.
There I was, at 10:20 PM, trying to explain to a police officer that it actually was safer for me to stay inside that McDonald’s because my car was dead and I was waiting on AAA. It was cold out and my battery was dead – I just wanted to stay there until 11 when the inside of the restaurant closed.
I was told, “We apologize, Ma’am. But you need to leave the restaurant and find someplace else safe to wait.”
Where the fuck was that going to be?!?!? Everywhere around closed at 10PM. I already checked because I needed somewhere warm to be until midnight (theoretically).
To add insult to injury, I got another text from Loverman at this point, asking if I was okay and if I had been picked up yet.
I didn’t really feel like texting him all the shit that was going on, so I just texted back that I was still waiting.
I was walking around the block at 10:57 when I finally got the call from the towing company telling me that they were within 10 minutes of my car. I was so relieved I almost started crying, but quickly reminded myself that it was almost zero degrees — tears freeze!
When the tow truck driver showed up, he was awesome. We got my car towed home safe and he even cheered me up with jokes and a warm ride.
Unfortunately, now I have to fix the alternator in my car with Loverman next weekend.