I was taking the bus to the next town over because that's where my mechanic is, and allegedly my car was fixed. I was carrying a large roll of duct tape because I had to go directly to work afterword, and my work shirt was in my car, and I was pretty sure it was filthy, so I was going to tape-clean it. I started talking with this nice lady on the bus about this and that, and eventually a guy got on with a baby in a stroller. The nice lady was all interested in the baby and the guy was talking about how they were on the way to the doctor to have the infant's rash checked out. I had been excluded from the conversation since the baby and guy showed up because I didn't have much to say about the baby, but at this point I tried to jump back in by showing off the rash on my arm. I was just trying to relate, but they gave me this weird look and started talking about the kid again. I think it's bullshit that when a baby has a rash, it's cute and interesting, but when some bearded guy on the bus carrying around a roll of duct tape has a rash, it's weird or unworthy of attention. Stupid world.
The night before, the tequila had been a good brand, so I drank a lot. The beer wasn't that good, but I drank a lot of it too. A few hours later, the alarm went off at 6 a.m. It wasn't a nice radio alarm or anything like that, but one of those little black boxes that screamed rough, monosyllabic, robotic, "R-sounds" over and over. It took me until 6:27 a.m. to gather the strength to turn it off and get up. It was one of those hangovers that felt like every cell in your body had been tarred, feathered, and punched in the face. I managed to put on a work shirt and climb into my car. It was a cloudy morning but I still felt like there were florescent lights beneath my eyelids as I drove towards the grocery store that I work at. I was drinking a coke that I had found in the fridge, even though soda is usually too sweet for me, I thought the caffeine would help. I stopped at a busy stoplight. It turned green and I hit the gas. Nothing happened. I turned off the car and tried turning it on again. It wouldn't turn over. I punched the dashboard and that didn't work. I put the hazards on and popped the hood. I stood in traffic holding the hood up with one hand because I lost the metal support thing for it years ago. At the time, I was apparently operating under the assumption that sleep deprivation and binge drinking made you a mechanic. I stared at the engine looking for something wrong, and all I noticed was that the battery contacts were very corroded. I thought something like, "Fuck, maybe the battery can't breathe," because batteries need to breathe and all. I couldn't find anything good to scrape the green and white shit off with, so I tried using my wallet. No good. I grabbed the coke from inside the car and poured it over the contacts. That melted it, but all that resulted was a dirty wallet, soda covered battery, and a still dead engine. I called my work to let them know that I would be late. The guy who answered said that they were behind so I should try to hurry up. Originally, my plan was to stay in the middle of the fucking street, dodging traffic and pouring beverages on my engine in the cold, but once I heard that they were behind at work I decided that a fine priority would be to get the fuck out of the street. Some bicyclists helped me push my car to a motel parking lot and I limped to work on my messed-up foot, the hospital bills for which were still unpaid, and now I had mechanic bills to throw in to the mix. All this fucking money for mobility, when I didn't even need to be mobile. I could build a mother fucking blanket fort in my living room and read books and eat junk food and drink beer until I die, but for some reason I need to work all these hours so that I can pay to get to work. I needed more money but my work just changed their evaluation policy from every three months to every six months, so that was another hundred days or so before I could hope to make several pennies an hour more towards getting out of debt and having custody of my own life back.
Later that night, I would lock myself out of my own apartment.
The next day, the tow truck driver would give me my change in quarters.
My car would take several days longer to fix than the mechanics quoted.
really old months: