Excluding a sporadic, successive clicking noise, a collapsed CD player, a crippled cigarette lighter, several scratches on the rear of the car, and an abundance of accessory ailments, my Jetta was perfect. And I was selling her.
I did what any proper person would do: I paid an excessive amount to attain a spare key, I replaced the CD player, and arranged an appointment with an auto repair shop to mend the cigarette lighter and excessive clicking the next day.
Then, I jubilantly displayed the car to three parties.
One: a thirty-something man with tattoos snaking around his arms and neck with lengthy black hair that claimed he coveted the car as a commuter vehicle. He ultimately offered me fifteen hundred dollars less than I listed it for.
Two: an early-twenty-something goofy-smile girl who arrived with her brooding boyfriend. I estimate she had forcibly dragged him to view/test-drive thirty-six cars. At least. Her first question: “No heated seats?” Her boyfriend’s last comment, “Jesus, Dorothy, you’re going to kill us. Slow the fuck down.” This was precisely before she sped over a speed bump and the car crashed into the pavement emitting a perceptible protest manifested in multiple moans, one being the car’s.
Three: a sincere Scotsman. His midget-height, massive smile, ample-accent fifty-something self immediately engrossed me. The car’s clicking clamor, normally erratic, never ceased. Scotsman’s decree: I fix the click, he’d purchase the car. My response: I have an appointment tomorrow morning.
That night I drove to my friend’s house for dinner. On my return drive I noticed the Check Engine light illuminated for the first time during ownership of the car. The following morning, upon presenting the Jetta at the shop for the clicking and lighter, they informed me the car needed a new catalytic converter. As I’m a girl and have no concept what that means, I simply know it’s bad. I advised the mechanics to accomplish whatever was necessary. Upon my reappearance hours later, the owner of the shop enlightened me that my airbag light was on. I have never seen this light in my life. I was not aware of its existence. Yet, in twelve hours prior to selling it, the check engine and airbag lights illuminated, neither of which I have seen in my three and a half years of Jetta possession. My car is protesting the sale!
As my friend resided in student housing, Public Safety had jurisdiction. They pierced the party and demanded everyone’s identification. When they charged me for mine, I extracted my school ID from my back pocket and stood, stationary, identification in hand. I gawked at the cop, grasping the probable catastrophic conclusion of surrendering my identity. Visions of coaches shrieking and storming harassed my mind. I resolved refusal of relinquishing the ID and scrutinized my surroundings.
This influencing my usual logic, when the gaslight materialized in driving from Long Beach to Los Angeles, I reasoned I could get to USC and back without any difficulties. My belated arrival in visiting my brother solidified my resolution of gas-delay.
One-thirty in the morning located my brother informing me I was welcome to sleep at his house of eight males, but there were no blankets, no heat, and no insulation. I ruled to return to Long Beach that night.
It wasn’t until I was lost in a shifty section of L.A. (a wrong turn from USC) that I recalled the gas deficiency. As the area was wrought with hoodlums, hooligans, and hobos, doubtless all equipped with semi-automatic weaponry and foot-long knives, I opted to remain in the car in attempts to recover the correct direction. Fifteen still-astray minutes later, the Jetta dashed down a boundless bridge, rapidly jolted forward, and stopped. Complete. Absolute halt.
I plundered my purse, pinpointed my AAA card, and phoned. The clock now read two-fifteen. The operator informed me of the hour and a half wait. After describing myself as a solitary young female in dire L.A., Operator consigned me as an Emergency pick-up. This kindly cut the wait to forty-five minutes. Her inspiring closing words: “When your life is threatened, call 9-1-1 immediately.” Wonderful. Forty-five minutes.
Twenty minutes elapsed with no hoodlums, hooligans, or hobos accosting the bridge. However, 2:35am: a cop car came. He pulled behind and notified me I was parked illegally and he was going to bestow me with a ticket. I notified him the car died, I was waiting for AAA, and, believe me, would move if feasible. I cast the car in neutral and he, alone, pushed the car three blocks off the bridge and around the corner so I wouldn’t obstruct the street. He didn’t issue me a ticket.
2:58am: AAA called. I wasn’t in the location I had said. They had sent the would-be savior to another location. Forty-five minute wait from now. My solitary young female status acquired a twenty-five minute wait.
3:23am: AAA arrived.
3:38am: Full tank of gas and I, with directions, drove towards the freeway.
4:06am: Long Beach.
In retrospect, I’m abundantly appreciative the cop didn’t run my plates. He would have seen my warrant for arrest (though I didn’t know about it at the time) and presumably promptly escorted me to jail.
Today I shuffled through mail compiling at my parent's house over the past few months. What do I stumble across, but a warrant for my arrest, notice date: January 20, 2009. I have no idea what the warrant pertains to. SFPD was so generous as to include a citation number, warrant number, and the date of the violation (August 19, 2008), but not the cause of the violation.
The notice kindly informs me, "Failure to give this notice immediate attention will necessitate compliance with state law, making it mandatory that you be taken into custody."
The only infraction I remember occurring in August was when a cop pulled me over and cited me for a broken side mirror. I repaired it (well, paid professionals to repair it), and sent a letter.
End result: crazies, comics, and carousals. One night some of the team convened and booze-bonded. We concluded the night’s depravity by ascending the soccer field’s fence and streaking.
Recently released from knee surgery, an inebriated teammate’s capabilities did not constitute climbing over a fence. Drunkenly distressed, she called our team trainer around two in the morning to criticize the rehab process because her teammates had climbed the fence and were streaking across the field, while her mending knee did not allow her to participate in such debauchery.
We saw the trainer the following morning.
Her remark: "I'm happy to see you girls found your clothes."
The following are the ones I contemplated before settling on four:
* I reply with, "That's what she said," whenever possible.
* I drink. What's your hobby?
* My liver hates me. My life thinks I'm fantastic.
* I love being unemployed, I have so much more time to think.
* When I met them they were quasi-attractive.
Then I got drunk, they were models, and I was God.
* You can never get enough motorboats.
* Good news, bad news.
Good news: you look hot.
Bad news: I'm drunk.
* I love my Blackberry. I write memos every time I have thoughts.
* All women are crazy.
* My favorite part about dancing is making girls uncomfortable with my raging boner.
* It wasn't me.
One weekend we were so fortunate as to only have a game Friday night. My roommate and I had an exceptionally privileged recruit, as she was able to experience our always-amusing-raucous-nighttime-activities on a Friday night. She had to return home the following day. We won the game, my parents were exceedingly exultant and proud, and treated us (recruit included) to dinner, afterwards procuring alcohol for our underage selves.
That night, one of our older teammates had people to her house to celebrate. Those people consisted of the entire team and some extended friends. Recruit got drunk. I hadn’t overseen her alcohol consumption. After mumbling she might regurgitate dinner, I assisted Recruit outside. I had no desire to witness Mexican food vomit. Yet, I did witness it, as she promptly collapsed on the sidewalk and retched into the street.
With some baseball team support, I transported her home, and trailed behind as three baseball players hoisted her over their shoulders and carried her to my dorm room. As she was non-responsive, I checked throughout the night to ensure she was breathing.
The following morning, I awoke Recruit to attend breakfast with the coach, who would then drive her to the airport for her flight home.
Coach called a team meeting that evening. Recruit had thrown up in Coach’s car on the way to the airport. Twice. Coach verbally scathed us, iterating recruits do drink on recruiting trips, but never should they get so drunk they’re hung over the next day. She then declared she knew someone on the team bought Recruit the alcohol, as she was still in high school. Of course, a teammate wasn’t to blame for the alcohol purchase. It was my dad.
He sincerely believed that if his skin were darker than his opponents, he would win the race.
A senior stumble map and timetable boomed across the shirt's back. From two in the afternoon until two in the morning stood the names of six bars in two-hour increments. The map comprised a circle with the name of a bar and peak hours of libation. A dotted line marked the direction to the next bar and the following two-hour segment. When we asked who paid to have the shirts made, the answer was, Jesus.
She was just gaining weight.