Ugly Volvo Wednesdays


Crazy B*tch (Memoirs of a Lemon Lover in Recovery)


Chapter 19—“Straight as a Bisexual”

After many weeks, and exponentially more swear words, my shiny new blue car was off the hoist, and back on the road again. We did all we could to address the dog-tracking issues. We did everything we could with the alignment to try and correct things. We finally got to a point we both could agree was “as good as it gets”. It wasn’t perfect, and would never be, thanks to the frame. However, it was improved. It drove straight enough to placate my dad’s concerns, and I was grateful for any improvement.

My dad needed the hard-sell—more for his peace of mind than anything. He started proclaiming that the car drove “straight as an arrow”. I knew better, when others who heard my dad’s proclamation asked me to chime in, the best metaphor I could honestly offer was: she’s “straight as….as….a…bisexual?” I got many slaps on the back. I was told I was hilarious. I wasn’t trying to be funny.

Truthfully, I wasn’t feeling much of anything when it came to my car. My spirit was still kind of broken at least as far as my car was concerned. I had no desire to hurt or disrespect my dad and his enthusiasm, but I really had lost all excitement over my car. I really just wanted to drive my car and enjoy my life. Up until now my car was driving me and over-riding any kind of means I had to enjoying life.

Contrary to my dad’s hopes and dreams, I did not keep up with the waxing and wd-40 regimen. My car budget was so depressed, I could only afford to register it and fuel it. Things like washing and waxing were exorbitant luxuries. I know that I could do these things at home, and with the support of my dad’s stash of wax and power washer solution; however, I had no time or energy left for these things. I was every bit as broke in time and energy as I was in funds.

I had to get a new job in order to provide for my car the kind of life she had become accustomed to. I had to face the hard, cold reality that my car was a high, preventative, maintenance car. I was locked into this commitment, not unlike a marriage, until death of engine us do part. I was here, and prepared to keep marching forward.

I adopted a grim and cold resignation. Whenever my car coughed, or sputtered, I said “yes dear” and diligently worked on her until the coughing or sputtering stopped. I changed oil, and tires, seasonally. In the winter, because of the dog tracking, sometimes I would land in the ditch—but I always used it as an opportunity to meet some new good Samaritans with shovels and/or tow chains.   Since I really couldn’t afford a nightlife, landing in the ditch was one way I was assured of meeting new men.

It was an existence I just accepted. I didn’t consider that I may be so different from others my age that my mother might become concerned. She didn’t say anything at first lest it be just another one of my phases, but once she was sure I was truly living a life of quiet desperation, she spoke her peace.

It wasn’t easy for her, mostly because I was in so deep I couldn’t really ‘get’ what she was talking about. She took me out to lunch, and for about twenty minutes she tried bringing up the topic several times. There were so many rapid intakes of breath that she nearly started hyperventilating. Without asking, the waitress brought us each a glass of wine. She was more perceptive than I was, and probably she felt all kinds of sorry for my mom having such an obtuse daughter. As for me, my thoughts began and ended with: “Free wine! Cool!”

Maybe it was the wine, perhaps it was the tension, but my mom teared up. She finally was able to find words to start—those words were: “I’m worried about you”.   I could not fathom why. My car was running, I was working, and consequently, maintaining my own car. This was something both she and my dad were waiting for now for quite some time. I was confused, but I blamed chiefly on the free wine.


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