My friend, whom I'll cleverly call Zil in order to preserve her anonymity, is pretty much a Communist. If she's got a dime she doesn't really need, and she sees that you (or at least I) need (or needs) a dime, she'll give it to us (!).
Knowing my poor car was in the shop for having stranded me again -- this time for more than an hour on a sultry night, with Benji but without his leash since it was to be a quick hop in and out at Blockbuster -- she drove by my house the other day. She called ahead to say she had something for me. It was a hundred bucks. When I refused graciously ("I'm not taking your freaking money!"), she drawled like the Atlanta Belle she is, "Then Ah'll jus' drawp it on yore lawn," using two full syllables for "lawn."
I recently read a Buddhist quote -- maybe from His Holiness Himself -- that basically said one must breathe in and out. One cannot breathe in only. One cannot breathe out only.
I took the cash.
I brought it to Pasadena Car Care (PCC) this afternoon and, after adding another $119.65, got my car back. Its random refusal to start every single time has been a problem for more than a year. I've had a new alternator, a new starter, and new fuses. I may have had other new things, too, but I prefer to remain in denial about them. I know it has cost many hundreds of dollars and many hours without a car. The guys at PCC are confident they've fixed it.
It was a melted fuse-holder. A short caused it, and general wear and tear caused the short. It's the third one they've had -- always on Toyotas -- in the last couple of months. Huh.
The problem now is one of loyalty. What do I do about the man who's watched over this car since I've owned it? Because he couldn't find this one (1) problem, does that mean he's out of my life? But he calls me Miz Nicolazzo with the sweetest South Carolinian accent! PCC's a lot closer, though. Both Zil and Mike ... er, Ekim ... use them. Well, if I quit the first guy, do I send him a Dear Jon Letter or just fade away? PCC actually had the problem fixed on Friday but no one called me. I called them today (it's Monday) and they acted surprised that I didn't know it had been ready all this time. Shall we vote?
Meanwhile, how 'bout them Scientologists? Did you get their big fat magazine in the mail? I just can't work myself up into an interest in them, although I have been on the sidewalk in downtown Clearwater when there's been no one else but Them, walking quietly in small groups their blue suits, and it really is a bit creepy, like a horror movie just before the first zombie reaches the square.
I wish someone I trust would tell me, in twenty-five words or less (and no using "u" for "you"), what their basic beliefs are. That would satisfy me. I don't need a whole magazine. All I saw at my quick run-through was an accusation against the reporters of the St. Petersburg Times. The article said the reporters had about seventeen thousand words on a recorded interview, but only used forty-one of them in the article. I hope whoever did the counting earns more than minimum wage.
The lawn here hasn't been mown in more than a month. That's partially why I didn't let Zil drop the bills there. We'd never find them again. The slumlord (from Atlanta, oddly enough) is doing an entertaining song and dance about Gino The Lawn Guy, but none of it is making the grass shorter. By the time I get from the side door to my car out back, I've got enough seeds on my legs to plant an acre. I also have something sticky -- bug juice or sap or frog spit -- around my ankles. I guess the liquid is heavier than the seeds. Neither dog nor cat wishes to slog through the stuff. Stanya, the Czech Republic woman on the other side of this duplex, parks her car out front, which helps keep the grass down -- on her side anyhow. If we pay for a mowing, we'll be setting a terrible precedent, so we just roll our eyes at each other.
Oh. Back to Benji and me at Blockbuster, panting in the heavy night air. I used my Swiss Army Knife's scissors to make a leash out of a Publix grocery bag. It was enough to bring him around the corner, where we caught a slight breeze. Now if I could just get him to eat grass, we'd be all set.