My car stopped starting this week. Tuesday night, to be exact. In front of a majority of Billy's family, I tried, unsuccessfully, to start my car until finally giving up and running to Billy to tell him that Gwen just wouldn't start. Naturally, as soon as he walked up and stood beside Gwen and me as I click-clicked my way through starting attempts, the car decided it would be funny to start, right then.
"Figures," I whispered, with a trace of bitterness, as she whirred to life. Billy laughed at me.
"Let's go drop it off right now," Billy said, leaning against the door frame.
"It's midnight," I argued, "and, besides, shouldn't I call them first or something?"
"What if it doesn't start again? Better to get it there while she's running than to get it home and have to get a tow truck or something."
So I gave in, and Billy followed me to the auto repair shop, where I parked Gwen in front of the garage, filled out an envelope detailing her ailments, then dropped that envelope, key inside, into their "Secure Key Drop."
"Poor Gwen," I said, sliding into Billy's passenger seat. "She's sick, too. Just like me."
"She'll get better." He put his hand on my thigh and we headed home.
The repair shop called me early the next morning, to tell me that it was, in fact, her starter. But that a new starter wouldn't come in until the next day. So Thursday was to be the day I'd get my car back.
"Thursday," I said to Billy, closing my cell phone. "Two days without my car."
"You can just drive mine," he replied.
Inside, I jumped for joy. Billy's Lexus is low and sleek and sporty. I love riding in it, and the materialistic bitch inside of me loves the idea of driving around in his car. But it's also his little baby. He rarely drives it himself, normally opting to use company cars instead. The hood of his car is long, much longer than mine, and it's a little nerve wracking to drive someone's beloved automobile when you're not used to a car that low, or that long.
But I was able to suck it up and drive it. With the windows down. And the radio up. I used the keyless locks and entry every time I parked. I felt glamorous. The car rides so smooth, the whole thing feels buttery and luxurious, nothing like the SUV I'm used to. When the auto repair place called to tell me it would be another day before I got Gwen back, I wasn't upset at all.
But Friday night I picked her up. My friend dropped me off in front of my car, waited while I started her. Perfect. And so I drove.
Immediately, I noticed the difference. You can't drive a luxury vehicle for two days, then hop into your ten year old beast and not feel some sort of disparity between the two. I could feel every bump in the road. I felt like I was being tossed around her interior. And then I heard it: The thick THUMP coming from her rear. Could it have been there before? Am I just noticing it now because Billy's car was so quiet? I figured I'd give it a few days. If it was a normal noise, I'd stop noticing it within a day or so.
But Sunday came and I was still hearing it. As I moved things from my condo and into Billy's, Gwen's tail-end thumped whenever I went over a bump. So Billy hopped in with me, and after hearing the noise only once, concurred that it did not, in fact, sound good. After narrowing down the noise to the rear driver's side, Billy crawled under my car. After shaking my vehicle from side to side, then up and down, and making some loud, worrisome noises, he crawled back out from her underbelly and back into the passenger seat. In his now grimy hands, he held a piece of my car. A rusty, old, broken, thick and what appeared to be a necessary, piece.
"What's that?" I asked, horrified.
"Your strut is broken."
So explained the strut to me. And the fact that what I was hearing was essentially metal slamming into metal every time I ran over a bump. Apparently, the lift Gwen had to get on to have her starter repaired was the final straw. Snapped it.
So I had to call this morning to make another appointment to get her fixed.
If I didn't know any better, I'd think I did this on purpose, just to get the chance to drive Billy's car again.
But I'm supposed to be moving. My room is packed, and ready to go, I just need to cart my belongings to their new home. And Billy's little car isn't very conducive to moving.
And this is exactly why it's hard to sit and recall my wonderful vacation. Because between all of my coughing and sniffling, my car is falling apart, and there's a whole house that needs to be moved out of. I think my car has it in for me.
Despite the series of events that have transpired over the past week and a half, I've tried a number of times to write about my trip, but they all seemed, how shall I say it? Phoned in. I need to write with a glass of wine and cigarette; not clandestinely at work.
Cross your fingers that our computer is ready this week. It will make things so much easier.