The Car Broke Down

The car broke down.

The car broke down a mile away from home.  I figured it made more sense to push it than call a tow truck.  Can’t afford a tow truck.

The car broke down a mile away from home and I pushed it.  Part of the way was uphill, and that was hard.  Part of the way was downhill, and I almost lost control.  There were no other cars on the road.

The car broke down a mile away from home, and I pushed it uphill and downhill.  It took me hours.  Sweating in the twilight, my only thought was “I need my car.  I have to have my car.”  If I could just get it home, I could open the hood, take out my toolbox, do something, find something, figure something out.

The car broke down a mile away from home, and I pushed it uphill and downhill, sweating in the twilight.  When I got to the driveway, I all but collapsed.  My car resting on the asphalt, my body resting on the grass.  I gave myself two good breaths of air before getting up, opening the garage door, turning on the porch lights.  I opened the hood, grabbed my toolbox, clicked on my pen light, and stared at the mess of iron and grease that might, if I was lucky, deign to work again that night.

The car broke down a mile away from home, and I pushed it uphill and downhill, sweating in the twilight until I collapsed on my own front lawn.  My hands worked mindlessly.  My brain no longer relevant to their actions.  Checking all the indicators, disconnecting wires, inspecting every part for damage.  The engine block was still hot.  It had been off for hours, but it still retained enough heat to radiate into my arms, onto my face, coaxing more sweat out of my already-drained pores.  I need my car.  How can I leave the house without my car?  I cleaned every single connection, closed the hood, and tested the ignition.  It worked.

The car broke down a mile away from home, and I pushed it uphill and downhill, sweating in the twilight until I collapsed on my own front lawn, but I fixed it.  And then I wiped my brow, washed up, and went to sleep.

I woke up the next morning.  I needed to check on the car.  Just because the ignition worked once doesn’t mean that it will work again.  If I was lucky, it would just start.  If I was less lucky, there would be some small issue that’s easier to see in the light of day after some sleep.  If I wasn’t lucky at all, I’d need to tow it to a mechanic.  I can’t afford a tow truck.  I can’t afford a mechanic.

So I got out of bed, got dressed, opened my front door, and saw my sinkhole.  Last night I’d have called it my driveway, but it wasn’t a driveway anymore.  It was a pit.  Twenty feet deep, crumbled asphalt lining the edges, and there at the bottom of it lay the twisted remains of my car.

I can’t afford a tow truck.

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