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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Saturday, April 2, 2011

no april fool

being a one car family has it's drawbacks.

it's not easy being green, so we puff out our chests. walking the walk always feels good.

this evening we went to pick up our sexy, ghetto wagon. a bottomless money pit, and desperately in need of fine tuning.

honestly, i cannot remember the last time i sat behind a wheel. it must have been november. we drove to smith bros. in our rental, and then i followed kevin back to burbank airport and the avis drop-off. but, first, i needed to fill 'er up...

pulling into the ARCO gas station, sense memory kicked into overdrive. it was just like riding a bike! independence flooded my veins like a morning cup o' joe; wiring me with enthusiasm and sass.

i pulled in. dug for my wallet. stepped out of the car. and slammed the door shut.

and in a sliver of a second, i was weak with regret.

[OH. NO.]

immediately doused in cold tingles of humiliation, my heart enveloped in a cocoon of total annoyance; i realized i was locked out.

[peekaboo. yup. there they were. the keys. my cell. and my purse.]

knowing kevin was on the way to the airport, i panicked for a total of 16 seconds, and then realized i would have to pull it together, despite my intense craving to crawl under a rock.

so i entered the ARCO store, head figuratively hanging low, and begged the cashier to use his phone.

"of course", he smiled, handing over a cordless.

at first, i tried AAA, but was on hold for 5 minutes. desperate to get a hold of hubby, i tried his cell, only to be met with his computerized voice mail.


i was weak, exhausted and stressed. i sank to the floor near the ice cream freezer and continued to sit on hold with AAA. and then like a ray of sunshine through cumulus clouds of stress, the cashier brought over a chair.

"would you like a chair? don't worry. you look worried."

ME: (sitting on chair)
"oh, thank you so much. i'm so sorry. i'm having surgery next week and this is the last thing i need."

[when in doubt, always play the sick card.]

when i finally got through to AAA, to one, beyond amiable operator, i felt my stress melt away like post-massage release. this doll and a half assured me "randy's towing" would be there within half an hour, and "was there anything else she could do for me?"

[god bless american service.]

and so i tried hubby again. vocally cursed his robotic voice mail. and then made a move towards the cement embankment where i could lean against a chain link fence and wait. and think.

why was i so upset? people make mistakes every day. but, there was something nagging at me, irritating and sharp; like a ripped cuticle.

minutes later, my knight in shining truck pulled in; the AAA sign like a beacon through my fogged mood. the mechanical dude whipped out an impressively long tube, inserted it atop the passenger window, and pumped away. within seconds, we were in like flynn and my tensions sizzled away. as i shook and profusely thanked, his kind eyes absorbed and inquired,

"are you all right?"

"i'm a little out of it. i'm having surgery next week."

"aw...wow...well, you are good to go now."

"what's your name?"


"well. that was my dad's name."

we smiled, niceties of a higher level exchanged, and my heart softly settled.

now driving, the evening rays caressed away my mood, and i asked myself again. why did i get so upset? and in absorbing the sights and smells of mundane life along the streets of sunland, i realized why. this world was now utterly foreign to me. i was an immigrant in my own life. vulnerable to the simplest of tasks, unfamiliar with the most common of protocol.

but, then my lips slowly melted upwards into the subtlest of half moons; replaying the kindness of not 1, but 3, total strangers...

unknowing ambassadors to my reentry into a normal existence.

[and by normal, i mean blessed.]

blessed with the ability to execute the smallest of tasks. complete them. and with pride.

[that day is a coming...]

and oh, to end with a gem...i got carded...while purchasing a singular, forbidden corona.

"really? SURE!"

"wow. you look really young."

although clearly in need of spectacles, i hungrily gobbled up his opinion...

[damn straight.]

a stranger to my old life, i perch anxiously on the edge of night, waiting for the dawning of divide and conquer...

to survey, stake and conquer. i will then plant a flag and claim my new country. a land of health.

[my american dream]

i'm no april fool.

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