And I’m finally getting my car in shape. Yesterday I waiting outside in the heat for my turn to get my muffler replaced. The shop was around the corner from the most famous drug corner in America, and it took a little over an hour for the repair shop to turn around the three cars ahead of me.
“Your muffler needs to be replaced,” Julio said, squinting into the sun. “It will cost $120.”
I gave him a thumbs up. Twenty minutes later, my “new” car had a muffler. And today, as Mercury finally goes direct, we’re on to the badly-needed air conditioning recharge. In this heat, it’s been really hard without cold air.
As I mentioned a few months back, my Subaru was on its last legs. Bingo! The transmission control module went, which is maybe a couple thousand dollars to replace. So I haven’t had a drivable car for over a month.
My ex-BIL was working on fixing up the ’97 Honda Accord his kid rolled into a ditch a year or so ago, and once it was ready, I made the 65-mile, three-hour trek out there to pick it up.
That was Friday, and I am still exhausted. For one thing, I’m still not used to being out of the house. For another, there’s a hole in the muffler and a mold problem in the vents which I am trying to address with vinegar and tea tree oil. (I might have to do a fundraiser to get this done professionally. Sorry!)
But the car handles like a dream and the seats are really comfortable. My XBIL says the engine is in great shape and will last forever. And for the time being, I have dependable wheels. Hallelujah.
Over 20 years ago, I was coming off the tail end of one of those roller-coaster love messes, and I’d tearfully confided in my lunch buddy at work. He confided something in return. Despite being a family guy, church deacon, regular kind of guy from a wealthy Main Line family, he’d been psychic all his life and saw auras — and even his wife didn’t know.
“Really?” I said. He told me his wife was very religious, it was a bad idea. Huh.
Anyway, I asked him if it was really over. He got up and closed the door, sat down and closed his eyes. Finally, he said my aura was indigo blue, and that was good. It told him that I was operating from a high plane.
“And?” I prompted.
“I can’t see it ever changing. You’ve learned what you were supposed to learn, but you’re two parallel lines. I see you drawing near and pulling back, but the lines never really meet.”
“Oh.” (At that point, remember, I’d never even heard this Todd song.)
Anyway, maybe 15 years later, I was working downtown and stopped at the Reading Terminal Market to get lunch. I saw my former co-worker and went over to say hello. “Do you remember that time you told me about the guy I’d been seeing?” I said.
“I’m not sure,” he said. I reminded him about the parallel lines.
“Oh yeah. So what happened?”
I beamed. “You were so right,” I said. “It never worked out. And I’m happy.”
Very soon I’ll have to Face the fact Some things never come together Parallel lines running on forever And you can’t turn back There is never any starting over Parallel lines never do cross over.
Decades ago, a friend asked if he could plant his pot plants in the backyard of the tiny city house I was renting with my boyfriend. (He said I could have half the crop.) I said sure. So he planted them, and they grew, bigger and bigger. They were the size of small trees when I finally hacked them down and dried them out in my attic.
Now, I didn’t smoke pot, I really had no idea what to do with all this. (We didn’t have the internet yet.) So I put the leaves in my blender (blew out the motor), and then I picked out all the stems and seeds — because who wanted those? It didn’t seem fair to charge for them.
When it was all done, I had close to seven pounds of perfectly clean grass.
There was a pot drought at the time, and wake-and-bake types across America were jones-ing. My friend Kate knew someone who was looking, and asked if this guy Bob who was visiting from the coast could come over to try some.
Now, the pot was bright green (because it was so fresh), so I told him someone just brought it in from Columbia. He inhaled deeply, saying, “You know, I could probably even tell you what square mile of Columbia this is from.”
“Wow,” I said. (Everyone said “wow” a lot in those days.)
So he bought an ounce, and headed back to San Francisco, where, as it turns out, his job was as a go-fer for the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. (He’s mentioned on the Airplane’s “After Bathing At Baxter’s” LP.) So he calls me and says “Jerry” loved it and wants three pounds. We settle on a price, he flies out, picks it up and heads back to the coast. (I used the proceeds to buy us a couple of ten-speed bikes.)
And that’s how I got Jerry Garcia high. Yes, it’s all my fault. Sorry.
I haven’t gotten my car fixed, because I just couldn’t bring myself to spend another thousand bucks on this black hole of a car. My ex-BIL offered me an old Honda Accord, and I’m going to take the money you all donated and pay for the parts (he probably won’t get to it before April).
So instead of the new horn ring, the mechanic rigged up an alternative horn. Since he put that in, the car battery keeps going dead. (It’s only two years old.) In fact, it happened again yesterday, right when I was leaving to go get my first covid shot.
Which is how I took my first Uber ride. I now understand the appeal — I live a half-mile away from the largest cab service in the city, and it takes me up to an hour to get a cab. Uber? Five minutes.
So now I have to call AAA again, get it charged, and drive it directly to the mechanic. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
I’ve had a lot of things percolating inside me this year: Cancer, covid, despair. Doubt in fellow humans. And most of it is still incubating — it needs more time in the cooker before I can find the right words.
But we did make it through this year. God, it was a shitty one, wasn’t it? If Biden didn’t win this election, I would probably have made my way to some other English-speaking land and taken up drinking. (I really hate drinking, so I’m glad that worked out.)
Presently, I have a dead microwave sitting in my living room instead of a Christmas tree. It’s one of those involved stories; when I ordered its replacement, it wasn’t supposed to be delivered until Saturday. Which was fine, I had nothing else planned for the weekend.
Instead, they dropped it off Tuesday, in a giant box. On my front steps, and it was starting to rain. So I wrestled it up the steps and into the foyer, and from there, up the steps to my apartment.
As you can imagine, it sort of destroyed my back. This being Christmas, I had all kinds of last minute projects to complete. My neck, my knees, and my hip are still sore, despite massage and copious amounts of arnica gel. Hopefully, I will figure out some way to get the old nuke out onto the sidewalk for trash day.
You might have noticed that some days, I simply forget to post. (Sorry.) Most of my energy right now goes toward a project I started, and it’s beginning to take off, but comes with a lot of other challenges, like dealing with taxes I had no idea even existed.
So I’m tired. It feels like I never stop working.
And that’s life these days: One little problem after another, punctuated by the occasional big one. The current Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is supposed to be a time for changes:
At the conjunction a new commitment is formed. We start putting energy into a project. We develop certitude that this is what we are going to do with our lives, and that this is what we hope to achieve. At the opening Jupiter-Saturn square we are asked to take some decisive step toward actualizing the purpose and commitment formed at the conjunction.
Christ, I hope so. Merry Christmas! God bless us, every one.
As you know, I’ve been having some problems with my vision. So I could put more distance between my eyes and the monitor, I made some changes here at Guerrilla Central. I ordered a stand for my desk and it came yesterday, so I started organizing and moving everything around while watching yesterday’s election coverage. Looks pretty good, but only because you can’t see all the stuff that fell off the desk when I moved the printer!
And the stands started to slide around on the desk, so I ordered some Velcro to keep them in place. Hopefully I can avoid at least some migraines!
I’m cutting back this week because all of a sudden, sitting before any kind of screen brings on a migraine aura (which, as you can imagine, is pretty unpleasant). I knew something was off the other day when I experienced the migraine prodrome for a couple of hours, took a nap, and it was still there when I woke up.
I’ve already done all the screen adjustments, so at this point, I probably need to see an opthamologist, maybe a neurologist — I don’t know. (Good luck getting an appointment, right?)
So I’ll do what I can, but I won’t be doing as much.