Thursday, December 18, 2008

My car doesn't love me...

Today i dug my car out of the snow and drove it to work for the first time in probably more than a month.
For those of you who don't know the background to this story, i shall include a brief synopses:

* My car has been...unwell... for quite some time. I was quoted about 3 weeks of roadworthiness by a mechanic about 3 months ago. "Ma'am, the problem with your that you need a NEW CAR!" Thats a direct quote, kittens.

* The battery died in august and had to be replaced (an adventure! Nearly missed out on some very carefully orchestrated festival plans because of that one)
* A tire blew out on the Queensway in september. (Another adventure!) All four were so bald that it was a small miracle that only one actually gave out.... i had to buy an enitre set as none of the ones i had were remotely salvageable...
* It was at this point that i was told the brakes would need replacing.
* The gas tank has a hole in it, and has had for quite some time. Its near the top, so it aint all bad, but if you fill it more that 3/4's you're literally pouring your money down the drain and the entire car will reek of gasoline.
* both headlights have burnt out. I am reluctant to spend any more money on this obviously dying car. I'm also an asshole, so i just drive with my highbeams on all the time instead.
* My struts are on their way out. If i take a bump and a corner at the same time, it kind of looks like something out of mario kart where you skitter off to the outside of the curve...
* My fuel intake hose will soon be obsolete
* i don't evenwant to know what else...
* Oh, and it has 360 000 km on it.

* since the three week prognois, i have been relying on the bus to get to my main job at the Vet Clinic, and have had to give up my second job (the one i'd been saving up all my travel money with...*grumbles*) entirely.
* Instead of junking the car entirely, I decided to hang onto it - since i have a free parking space - and take the afore mentioned three weeks of road worthiness in increments of hours and single, short, trips, reserved for occasional scheduling conveniences and semi- emergencies. (it makes me squirrely to think i can't escape the city if i actually needed to get away from it)
* So, in light of all of this, I've been using the bus to get to work every day, which has beenits own special set of adventures, which i will not get into here...
* EXCEPT for the adventure about the ottawa transit system being ON STRIKE; Which leads neatly into the Adventure of trying to find a regular ride to work every day, where i am going against the general flow of traffic, and working very irregular hours compared to those of other car poolers.
* Today was the first day i had no other ride lined up....So i decided to dig out the car for this, somewhat urgent, situation.

As soon as i sat in my little junker and turned the key...a tremendous calmness came over me....It was like a home away from home...the seat was already adjusted just for me, the radio preset to my favourite was all so familiar and intimate...the feel of the clutch, the tilt of the mirror, the funny way the stick catches just a little when you put it into second if you don't do it just right... it was like seeing an old friend and finding that nothing between you has changed...(and friends....nothing here HAD car is still a piece of shit, just one that i happen to be dearly missing at the moment...)

SO i drove to work. i kept my speed low, i took it easy on the corners, i kept away from crowds of other cars...
and everything was FINE. no problems starting, no problems stopping. Nuffink at all.

So i'm thinking "this isn't so bad!" and that if i can just make it through the few work days left between now and January 3rd, then i;'ll be in Africa for the better part of two months and the whole stupid trasit strike will be over when i come back and i'll have some time to actually junk my little old beater car once and for all and everything will be FINE. Everything will be fine at the VERY LEAST.... maybe possibly even great.

So after work, i'm on my way home and i notice i'm out of washer fluid, so i stop to pick some up. I fill my gas tank 3/4 full (and the gas is so CHEAP, now that i'm not driving all the time!) and i pop the hood and begin to fill the washer fluid tank. I'm excited by the prospect of having clean windows in the wintertime (kind of imprtant!) and as i'm pouring, i notice a very small sound....

and i lean in...

and i listen....


"Oh!" I think to myself..."Oh it soundslike i'm sloshing it all over the ground!"

And i looked, and i wasn't...

but i kind of really was.

The fucking washer fluid tank has broken.

My car does not love me.

not at all.

not one little bit.



well at least its kind of funny.

and now all i can think of is Fred Flinstone saying "Droll. VER-y Droll...." and looking smug and unimpressed, while Barnie stifles himself and the great kazoo looks bored and impatient.

"thats right dum-dum...".

you need a new car.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

.... multiple confessions and one uncomfortable realization

i am not in love with the city right now.

i miss my sleepy small town
i miss my old shitty apartment with my derelict landlord and fight-club bathroom
i miss having a dog
i miss my family
i miss all the friends who live in the same city as me that i still never get to see
i miss not worrying about how i'm going to get to work every day
i miss the stars at night
i miss being able to run and run and run and never worry about how late it was or how empty the streets were, or which neighborhood i had wandered into
i miss drinking beer in the park
i miss the happy chatter with the regulars in my cafe
i miss being able to walk home from every bar in town
i miss small town insomnia
i miss impromptu beers at the pub with an old english lit teacher, and late night palavers with a back-woods mad scientist
i miss autonomy
i miss unexpected alliances

and i miss feeling like i never belonged there

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

cry it all out

Its been a long day.

One of my favorite patients died today with a belly full of blood and a sad look of quiet resignation on his face. I watched a woman cry openly with sheer frustration, helplessness and loss. I watched a sixteen year old boy struggle for composure in the face of his first real encounter with death. I watched him lose that battle. And then i watched a good dog die.

this is one of the ones that stings.

Monday, December 8, 2008

some haiku

there is nothing here;
no warm familiar faces,
in winter city

i stare through the grime
of a dirty bus window.
all the world is gray.

all the birds are gone
but the noisy, raucous, gulls.
they shriek in triumph.

you pull me to you
like the full moon pulls the tide.
i am overcome.

I think i love you
more than i reasonably should.
I'm okay with that.