My car’s oil light came on during my drive to work the other day. It came on and went off. It hadn’t been on since but, I knew it needed changing cause the warning under my radio dial started saying, “change oil soon”
I texted Andrew, the mobile mechanic who tirelessly worked, for at least a month, to try to save my VW Beetle, to see what he would charge for an oil change. He said $40. Cool. This time he was at someone else’s house working on a car and he asked if I could go to him. Sure. He’s a great guy and when I win money he’s getting a donation.
I got into my car and started driving and heard the familiar flapping noise of a flat tire. Yep, right front. I’d driven maybe 100 yards, if I was lucky.
I kind of was. One of my young male neighbors happened to be walking by and stopped me and offered to change it. I had a spare so, he went to work with his own Jack. He was an interesting character. DJ, by name. He had short spiky dreds and wore a St. Patty’s Day shirt that said, “Get ready to stumble.” I thought it was humorous. It was even more humorous when his two friendly buddies showed up. They were fragrant with the smell of ganja. I didn’t care. They were sober enough.
DJ got the spare on after some creative maneuvers with his jack and guess what! Flat spare.
DJ didn’t want money or anything. That’s the thing about living in this poor neighborhood; we all sympathize with each others’ financial predicament. That’s kind of awesome. I asked his buddy, who had slightly longer dreds, “What kind of beer does he like?” He laughed and said, “Oh, he’ll drink anything” I’m going to get him a six pack of some good beer from the selection at Sprouts.
I left my car where it was and called Andrew and he told me his compressor isn’t really portable. Hmm. The spare wasn’t nearly as flat as the first tire so I thought about my options.
I decided to return to the apartment and called the roadside assistance with my phone company. Nope, they don’t carry compressed air. They would have to tow it. I didn’t want to waste a tow job. That would leave me with one until October.
I googled the number for the auto parts store near us-also a very short drive but, one that would require travel along busy SR 434. I couldn’t remember if it was Auto Zone or the other one that’s red and yellow and, I was too stressed to dredge up the memory. The Auto Zone wasn’t the store so, I just googled, “auto parts stores near me.” Bingo! Advanced Auto Parts. I really don’t like that store. Employees have an attitude. I’ve shopped at other Advanced stores and people have been the opposite-helpful.
Yep, got a dude with a ‘tube. Thus, I decided to risk driving to Circle K and getting air from their machine. I’d previously called to see if the air machine took debit. “Naw, I think you have to use quarters.” “Ok, thanks”
I hung up and drove at top speed of 12 MPH along residential streets. I could feel that the tire wasn’t nearly as empty as the first tire. Good thing.
I pulled up to the air machine and the first thing I saw was the logo for Visa cards. Lol. Probably good thing cause I once tried to put air in my Beetle’s tires late at night, in poor lighting and I the machine was broken and had already charged my card. It was a small nightmare getting that reversed.
I plunked in my quarters and began filling the flat tire. I could see it was filling up by comparing the tire’s edge to something on the ground near it. In this case it was an Oak tree leaf. The space between it and the tire expanded. That was good. I hope it stays that way.
I called Andrew to see if I could bring my car over to get the oil changed. No answer and his mailbox was full. I texted him but, he was probably beginning his relaxation mode. That’s cool. I totally understand.
I asked if maybe he wouldn’t mind changing it at Sprouts. He’s worked on my car in the Walmart parking lot before. But, Winter Park might a little to far for him.
I guess, I will figure this out. It just gets so tiring. Everyone I know compliments me on my attitude. I try so hard to be positive but, staying positive for over a decade and seeing little improvement gets exhausting. It really does.
Moments ago my chest felt tight. That never happens to me. I almost never have that stress response. I took deep breaths and decided on a small amount of wine.
I did joke with my roommate that, hopefully, this was all supposed to happen so I’d be forced to get my three lottery tickets at the Circle K (my Fantasy 5 tickets from there are almost always winners of some kind) instead of at Publix.