Jun 30, 2010

Another Day In My Life


“To check the balance of your checking account, please press 1.” beep- “Your balance is negative three hundred eighty nine dollars.” I press end, and with my mouth open, I began to cry. Looking at my cell phone as if it just told my world is coming to end any minute, I sat feeling numb all over. I feel the hot streams of tears rolling down my cheeks, gravity pulling each drop on my phone and hand. I sit and cry in silence; while sitting on my living room couch. I feel the redundant dysfunctional chain of having no money every month, and I am sick of it. I call my bank customer service line again on speaker phone because I can not believe what it just told me. I am in absolute denial about what the automated teller just spat out, and I need to make sure there was not some kind of wax build up in my ears. Forwarding through each prompt, I get back to the main menu. The female robotic voice said what I thought I heard the first time, but before I hang up this time, I need to know what happened. I can not just accept the fact I am broke, when I know I should not be this broke. “To hear the last ten checks paid, please press 5.” Beep- The clouds parted and my answer to my question was given. The curse of a post dated check I wrote a few months ago wanted to get paid now.

Just this past summer my main port of transportation was a plum color, 1994 Saturn. It was all I could afford three years ago, and with the exception of a few fender bender accidents, it was all I had to drive. Maybe it was the heat, or the neglected oil change that had this car put me on the highway to hell. It started with the first week of its demise. The clutch was sticking on each gear and my engine was sounding very irritable. Lights were flashing red on the dash board that would otherwise be invisible to me, but the sounds the car was making would not let me ignore the fact it was going to die if I did not take it in for repairs. I took it to the dealership where I bought the can cutter. That is what my mom would call old cars that were driving on its last pistol. After they keep my car for a few days, the diagnosis was my module packs needed to be replaced, and it would cost a little over four hundred dollars. I hitch a ride back to the dealership to pick up my fixed cutter.
Going to work, picking up children, running errands, is what I do as my every day activities. I need a reliable car to get me where I need to be every day of the week. Not even ten days later I am on the highway driving at least 80 mph, until rush hour makes me come to almost a complete stop. It is over 100 degrees outside, and 150 degrees in my car when the clutch no longer wanted to go in any gear shift. Stop and go traffic put me in a panic, while I slammed my gear shift in any direction possible, but nothing would stick. I cried, cursed, and cried again, until I had to drift onto the side of the busy highway. People were getting irritated with me for making them wait for my dirty, plum, plastic, toy car to move out of their way.

A police officer in a under cover Dodge Intrepid comes out of nowhere and pulls right in front of my car on the side. They say to protect and serve, but I do not trust any person in uniform carrying a gun. He seemed really nice, until he called my license plate in to the station. I started to get nervous because the last time that happened I was in Aurora Municipal getting booked. If he is here to help me stranded on the side of the highway, why would he need to check if I am a felon too? He sat and waited with me until the tow truck guy could find me, and get through all the traffic to save me. Taking my car back to the dealership, the surprisingly nice police officer gave me a ride and dropped me off at the nearest TGIF restaurant. He offered to take me all the way home, but I was still worried the station was going to come over his radio and say to bring me in for a old traffic ticket. I wanted out of his car so fast, I almost opened the door while he was driving and tucked and rolled to safety.

One thousand dollars it cost to replace my clutch. I should have walked away right there and bought a skateboard, but they allowed me to post date checks to pay for it.
Exactly 14 days later, while driving home from work on another hot summer day, I found myself stuck in traffic due to construction. A million cars had to squeeze into one lane to get through, and I was right in the middle of the madness. My car did the unthinkable, the engine began to roar very loudly, my temperature gage casually moved to the hot letter H, and smoke seeped from my front hood like a chimney on the coldest day in winter. I could not go left, right, back, or fourth because I was stuck. I began to get very nervous, and started to panic again. I swear I knew my car was going to explode with me in it and I have not renewed my Will and testament for my kids yet. Ten minutes later I was finally able to cross the street and park at the gas station. Dressed in four inch heels, a skirt, and blouse I pop the hood and antifreeze is dripping everywhere. Smoke hit my face the way the dishwasher does when I interrupt during the drying cycle. What was I to do now? I am out of tears and out of patience, so I stood in the shade using my navigator on my cell phone, and I called the nearest dealership that would help me buy a new car.
Buying a new car took all my savings because I was not expecting to pay another $1,200 for a down payment along with all my current bills. I left my plastic curse of a car at the dealership and told the people that sold it to me they can have it back. I finally washed my hands of the evil, and now have reliable transportation to drive around town. Two months later I forgot all about the post dated checks I wrote for a car that never was fixed in the first place. The dealership had the audacity to continue processing my checks as if they actually ever fixed my car. This is why my bank account is negative, and this is why I am on my couch holding my cell phone with tears staining every crevice of my face. I feel vulnerable and weak, the only thing I can do is breath. Being a single mother with two children does not leave me any room to breath, but I have to breathe anyways. I always have to be strong, figure out a way to make it through the next week, and keep living life the best I can. I have to tell myself money comes and goes, and if I keep positive it will come back to me again one way or another.

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