the maintenance light popped on my car, time for an oil change. made an appointment. only two-hundred and thirty-plus thousand miles on it, so gotta keep it going.
finally felt well enough to go see my dad in the hospital. decided to go wednesday after work. three o’clock comes, and i have to get out of a conversation about what fate has befallen a coworker that hasn’t shown up for two days and no notice as far as the boss can remember. my offer was he was unconscious on the floor, and his cat had already eaten half his face. supposedly, they continued on without me, but mine was the most morbid.
anyway, as i was saying, out to my car in the parking garage. it won’t start. lights working, dashboard all lit up with all the warning lights, but engine…pfft. sucks, since i’m missing my best chance at missing a lot of the traffic.
walked to the parking office, to see if they had jumper cables. worker bee hops in his golf cart with a portable charge, and heads up to meet me at my car. of course he assumes i stupidly left the lights on…i didn’t. he clamps the cables to the battery and it starts right up, thank you very much.
off i go to the freeway, half an hour late. only a little stop and go, but still took an hour to get there. mom had already left for the day. after decades of not driving on the freeway, she’s been going daily, between rush hours, to sit in the room with my dad. they had to put him in a hospitial miles from home, since no where closer wanted to deal with him, and he was too sick to just go in a rehab home.
gotta put on gloves and a gown to visit his room. he has cooties or something, picked up from the other hospital. on heavy duty anti-biotics, but almost cured.
spent an hour and a half chatting with dad, telling about my trip, asking when they were going to cut him loose. talked about my kids, my brothers, my sister, whatever popped into his mind to fill the empty spaces. his dinner arrived, so helped set him with that. decided to head out before it got too late, and noting that with traffic, it would still take another hour to get to whittier from there.
called my better half, who suggested i go down the street to pep boys and have them check the battery, just for his peace of mind. shall i say, english was not the technician’s first language, but i understood enough that he said the battery was ok, i should check the alternator. told him i already had an appointment, so would have it check then. said battery would be ok to get home, but car would probably not start in the morning.
let better half know. he suggested i turn around and go back to my mom’s house for the night, as any place i took the car to, i’d be able to get to the office for the day, versus whittier, where i’d have to take the day off unable to connect to work computers.
fine. drove back in heavy traffic. decided to stop for dinner before heading to her house. already close to eight p.m., stopped at togos and ate a sandwich and chips, not realizing they closed at eight.
finished up, only finishing half the sandwich, going to give the other half to my mom. car won’t start. engine won’t even pretend like it wants to twitch.
togos employees are sweeping, but the door is still unlocked. i ask if they have jumper cables, but they both say no. i realize later, when each brings their bike around the building why they wouldn’t be able to help.
i call aaa. tell them about the battery, and that it’s probably the alternator. they advise to not just send a car to jump it, as it might just die while i’m driving it. tow truck will take about forty-five minutes to get there. oh well.
called my mom, told her my predicament, that if she wasn’t busy could she come and get stuff from the car so i could have it towed straight to a garage and leave it overnight. and the sandwich was at risk too.
she showed up in curlers, i loaded my stuff in the trunk, handed her the sandwich, but she insisted on staying until the truck showed. she’d left my kid’s dog alone in the house, thinking it wouldn’t take long. he behaved, for a change.
truck still took over an hour to get there, so i was happy she stayed. it was dark.
by the time we got to the house, it was after ten. climbed into the twin bed, tired. dog-beast jumps up, and promptly takes most of the bed. pretty much get no sleep until the kid shows up close to midnight to fetch her dog.
cough mostly for the next two, only to have to get up for work two hours after that.
and it ended up just being the battery…couldn’t hold a charge. so wtf, pep boys guy?