Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April 12, 2017 - A Thousand Unedited Words A Day In April

If you haven’t read Chapter 2 of Yoga Mama’s Buddha Sandals, I think you should if you plan to read this particular post. Last time I checked, you can read the first two chapters on Amazon for free. If you don’t want to do that then I’ll give you really cliffy cliff notes: I had a really crazy childhood and I’ve been on my own since I was sixteen years old. I went through some hell. Don’t worry. This is the worst of these stories and not sure I’ll use it in the book. Anyway, Now the rest of the story from yesterday.

I was screwed. Three grand might not be much money to some seventeen year olds, but I barely made it paycheck to paycheck. And there was no one to call. I walked around the open door of my camaro and sank into the driver’s seat. I laid my head against the steering wheel. I had no idea of what I could possibly do. I was already in hot water. Hell, I lived in hot water. Without my car, moving from place to place would be a lot harder and I was still having to move from place to place. My job at the bank, while offering a possible future, at the moment, wasn’t paying nearly enough to pay rent on an apartment, so I was still stuck finding new couches on which to surf, sometimes at a moment’s notice. That situation itself was becoming overwhelming as my mind was being conditioned to see no place as home, to feel safe nowhere because at a moment’s notice, I could be asked to leave or have to leave fleeing for my life or honor. Without a decent job, I could see no way to change that situation. Now, without a car, I wouldn’t even be able to keep the first job I’d had that seemed like it could offer me more of a future…eventually.
“How can that be?” I asked quietly, “I just had it changed at a Jiffy Lube.”
Eric shook his head, “I don’t know. Wait, let me check something.” He laid on the ground and looked under the engine block, then made a clicking noise. “Well, he may have put it back in, but without bolt on the oil pan, it would have just drained back out.” He said, standing back up and brushing off the dirt from the garage floor. “There’s no bolt. The oil just drained right out, but that would be a pretty hard thing to miss. If he added oil it would have just gone all over the ground. Possibly it just wasn’t tightened enough, but only going a couple of miles from the Jiffy Lube doesn’t seem like far enough for it to work it’s way out. I dunno. But I’m pretty sure the engine is seized. Caput.” He finished.
I sat dazed. On the outside, it may have looked like I was contemplating a course of action, but I couldn’t even come up with a course to contemplate. The Jiffy Lube guy had just destroyed everything. The one thing I had going for me, I thought, was that I had a car. It was not only how I got to work, but also a place I could sleep if things got rough.
I thought about calling the company to complain, but he’d done it for free. There was no receipt. No proof I’d ever been there. I wondered if it was on purpose. Had he done it on purpose because I’d said I just wanted to be friends? Who would do that?? I got this sick feeling in my stomach. Many years later and I have it again, right now, thinking about this. I should have been furious, but I wasn’t. Instead I felt scared, vulnerable…and violated. The idea that someone would do such a thing. Someone who knew what would happen if I drove the car without oil. To this day, I don’t know for certain what exactly happened. I never called him or the company. Instead, I took those noxious feelings and stuffed them deep, deep inside, with others of their kind and turned to focus on the present. What could I do?
“Would you be able to fix it?” I asked, though Eric had already done me way too many favors in the past. And I was never able to repay him. I think he may have been thinking about this when I asked. He looked sympathetic, but shook his head, “It’s a big job. It’ll take weeks to do and I don’t have the time, space or parts.”
“What if I help?” I asked, voice starting to shake. Without Eric’s help, I had no where else to turn. The thought crossed my mind that I could maybe work in one of “those” dance clubs on Summer Avenue. The thought crossed my mind that I’d have to. Girls in my situation have really bad options, and it was starting to seem like the best out of the bad. But, if Eric, could somehow help me.
“I don’t know, Donna. Let me think about it. Come on. I’ll give you a ride.” And he drove me back to whose house I actually have no idea.
I have no recollection of where I was staying at this time. I have something like amnesia where a lot of the past is concerned. All my memories aren’t completely gone. Some are gone, but most of them are  just very, very vague. Something to do with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I also can’t remember exactly how my car ended up at some friend of Eric’s empty garage with Eric giving me instructions over the phone on what I needed to do to remove the engine from my camaro. I remember running back and forth from the phone to the car while I got instructions and then went and tried to carry them out. I remember that before I did anything I had to remove the driveshaft before detaching the transmission from the engine. I remember my car up on ramps and being under it with my arms wrapped around the transmission trying  remove the bolts from the bell housing. I remember it was called the bell housing. I remember my engine hanging from a chain slung around a rafter but I can’t remember how it got there, whether I did it, following Eric’s instructions over the phone or if he came out and help me. I don’t know how many nights I was out there working on it. I don’t even remember what happened to that promising job. Apparently I lost it.
At any rate, the camaro never ran again. I “think” I couldn’t afford parts, or the guy needed his garage back or something and I had to sell it for parts. I did gain something from this situation. I learned that I could work on a car. Maybe my first effort wasn’t a complete success, but I learned that I could do something girls weren’t supposed to be able to do. I remember being covered from head to toe with engine grease and feeling so proud to run into a store for a pack of cigarettes and have the guy behind the counter just stare at me. It’s strange what I remember. But this was an important moment. I didn’t’ see it that way at the time. At the time, I saw it as this thing that I couldn’t do, or at least couldn’t finish. Subconsciously though, I think it sank in, at least a little bit that I, a little 85 pound mongrel of a girl, had followed instructions from someone over the phone and had managed to at least partially dismantle a car.
Years later and the truth is that what happened probably saved my life and maybe someone else’s, too. I was too reckless with such a powerful vehicle and there was no way owning that car, in my condition, wasn’t going to end badly. What happened was probably the best thing that could have. Tough post for me to write today. Tough post to share. I’m actually still debating whether I’m going to share this or not or how long I’ll leave it up. Rehashing it has scraped me pretty raw. I’ve always maintained that there are no skeletons in your closet unless you put them there, so I’ve usually been vocal about my weird past. But I’ve never shared this story. You may not get why, so to completely open myself up here, I’ll tell you because maybe there’s some healing in saying it out loud: Because this story shows you my vulnerability and I’m not used to showing that to almost anyone

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