Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Calvary Arrives

Written October 10
(posted March 20, 2013)

Okay... I"m back on the blog train.  Will I post weekly?  Daily?  Monthly?  We'll see...

Today, thanks to a secured loan I made from the most wonderful woman in the world (Rebecca) Doug and I went in a lovely Saturn SUV (borrowed from Kim, the 2nd most wonderful woman in the world) to Upper Darby (west of Philly) to look at a ‘new’ car.

After exhaustive searching on the internet my resourceful husband found a 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass SL (I don’t know what the fuck the SL stands for, but Doug seemed pretty darned excited about it).  And the price? Get ready….

$1200!  An entire car for $1200!! Okay? My friend Lois no doubt has handbags that cost more. And get this… It’s got windshield wipers that work, brakes and REVERSE!!! I forgot to mention that the reverse had stopped working on the VW about 10 months ago.

As Doug and I drove – no, let me say ‘floated’ through the back roads of NJ towards Upper Darby in our borrowed Saturn we felt -- lucky. Dare I say ‘blessed’?  It’s amazing how driving in a car with windshield wipers (it was still raining) A.C., cruise control and GPS can feel like a Caribbean vacation when you’ve spent the last few months in a car without a muffler, reverse, brakes and with manual windows.  That’s right!  Can you even remember the last time you had roll-up a window?

Oh, I felt downright cocky as I pulled into a spot at Dunkin Donuts, knowing when I had to leave I could simply put the car in reverse and then speed away.  No, today I didn’t have to search for a pull-through spot, or find some cleaver way to park that didn’t involve backing up.  Ahh, I was really living.

So today all thoughts of suicide, self-pity anger and resentment had disappeared like the little VW on the tow truck disappeared this morning.  I had hope again.  For no reason, really.  I mean, the relief is an illusion. As I type this various 800 numbers call me looking for payments on numerous bills that I have no way of paying.

Recent time-line of my thoughts/relationship with God, Goddess, Higher Power, etc.

Day 1 – There is no God, or a cruel, mean-spirited God.  The type of God that would act like he really liked you, then say, “Hey, do you want to go steady?” and when you say “Sure!” all wide-eyed and fluttery, He would smirk and say, “Well, I don’t.” then walk away and high-five his friends who were all laughing at how stupid you were to have hope.

Day 2 – Maybe there is a God.  But the type of God that likes to watch you cry and shake your fist at the world only to send the cavalry in at the last minute.  And you’re glad the cavalry arrived in the shape of a loan from a friend and a 1997 Oldsmobile, you are!  But you were kind of hoping that the cavalry would be your screenplay getting made into a movie (it was optioned last January – more on that later) so you could send your kids to the dentist, buy them some clothes and pay off Time Warner.  Not to mention pay back all your amazing friends and family that have loaned you money over the last few years!

But, focusing on the Happy & Peppy aspect of life, we have a new car.  "New" being a relative term.

First of all, I'm proud to say I made a pret-ty good deal on the car.  Oh yeah! When we got to Upper Darby and Mike, the owner, fetched the car from the Public Storage space we noticed it had a crumpled fender.  Not a 'dented' fender as the description on the internet had said -- crumpled.  And it had powder blue cloth upholstery!  Now, I know when your budget is $1200 one is in no position to be picky about upholstery. But, let's face it, there are few colors worse than powder blue when  It comes to upholstery.  Maroon, magenta, even emerald green is not as bad.  And the interior of our soon to be 'new' Cutlass Supreme had quite a few stains on it.  So, I did some haggling (it was the middle of the day, in the middle of the week and Mike was in shorts and flip flops.  I just had a feeling he was a li-ttle desperate.) offered him $1000, he countered with $1,100 and we settle on $1050. I was on fiyah!

Doug and I sped away from Upper Darby feeling pretty 'fancy'.  

Back home I headed out to the driveway with my Auto Zone Upholstery Cleaner in hand and a tidy little scrubby brush I went to work.  As I surveyed things I realized there were stains everywhere; on all the floors, on the seats, and even on the doors, dark brown stains were ‘splattered’ (yes splattered is the definitely the right word) all over the interior of my new car suggesting there had been some sort of a terrible accident in the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. 

Okay!!  Now I get it!  Now the price was beginning to make sense.  I began to wonder exactly how long had this car been in hiding – I mean in storage?   Which begged the question, was Mike selling a car or ditching evidence? As I scrubbed, feeling slightly queasy,  I remembered that Mike’s last name was Marino, or Mateo or something decidedly Italian. And it occurred to me that I might be doing more than cleaning my car.  I might actually be getting rid of DNA evidence.

Oh well... and I scrubbed on.  After all I had a new car, with brakes, windshield wipers, electric windows and REVERSE!