One More Day of Okay

It is one of my main trigger issure.

I turn the key in the car--nothing. Deader than a doornail, as my Dad used to say.

I will fall apart over a dead car quicker than anything. Every insecurity I have is laid bare--no family or friends or husband or bank account to quicky save me. Dead in the water. Powerless and stranded. Without a car, my tiny family and I are simply screwed.

It's that, of course, but it becomes more if left unchecked to jump up and down on my injured outlook. It becomes a line in the sand between when all was well and when everything went to hell.

This very thing happened not long ago and I relaxed into the insanity and let it have its way with me.

Last night, I opened the hood. Stood there and waited. Texted my teenaged son who had hopped into a car a little earlier with a bunch of boys trying to look like cool gangsters but looking more like a bunch of boys trying to look like cool gangsters. "Sorry Mom. Can't help. I love you." Not very gangster but cool.

The neighbors are moving. They are in crisis. I know this because the man of the house--a boy himself--tells me things unsolicited when he sees me outside the way people in crisis do. He had told me earlier the landlord would not give them a week to get out and their new place won't be ready for a week. They will be putting their possessions into storage for a week. Had to give their awesome dog away to a relative. I know what you are going through, I said. At least the dog is still in the family, I said. Better you than me, I did not say.

Our own insane and desperate move is too recent. I have an irrational fear of crisis and dispair. Too soon. Maybe contagious. Can't afford to get any on me right now. Too soon.

He came over with one of his friends who is helping him move--the hard way--one sad carload at a time. Little pink plastic beds piled high in the yard. Four children. All girls.

They jumped my car. Got it running. I thanked them. Lots.

I drove away. I needed to charge the battery again. My son had borrowed the keys earlier to get something out of the car. Must have left the door ajar. Old car-old battery. Didn't take long to become powerless. Stupid son.

I drove away. I drove and drove.

I drove finally to that pizza place that hands cheap pizzas throught the window. I got three. One for us to share--our TGIF! tradition. Two to give to them.

"Hey, you didn't have to do that," he said.

I know, I said. What I mean is I know. I know what it's like. I was just there, where you are. I know it is time to feed the kids and all. I was getting a pizza anyway. Moving sucks. I know.

Sometimes, just a jumpstart from a neighbor is all it takes to keep us up and running.

It is raining this morning. Hard. They will have to finish their move in the rain. It will feel like a personal slight to them, the rain. It is not.

I hope our car starts today. Wish us luck. For those of us living on the edge (I think we number more than we are lead to or would like to believe) any day it could go either way.#

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