Montreal, Canada 2011
From my journal.
All night she cried. It had nothing to do with me. They were existential tears, they had no reason, and simultaneously, all the reason in the world. I’m good at solving problems, but in this kind of situation, problem solving is about as comforting as a calculator. So I held her and asked questions that really had no answers- in fact, the questions were the answers.
Feeling useless, I took a break from the tears and moved to the kitchen, where I opened my laptop, and then for no damn good reason other than carelessness I dropped it on the floor. The hard drive chirped and the screen zig zagged into an inter-cosmic acid trip. Everything was lost. I sighed, picked up a banana, and munched on it couch-side while staring at my toes.
I went to the bathroom, the toilet wouldn’t flush.
I moved into the dark bedroom and tucked myself into her arm. I tried to sleep while she sobbed on my shoulder.
Three hours later, 6:00 AM, three alarms went of simultaneously. I put on my backpack, hugged her goodbye, and trudged out into the snow, it was -20 degrees. A stranger from the Internet was to pick me up and drive me six hours south. An hour later, as my toes turned to ice, she finally appeared- chewing gum loudly, and looking generally disorganized she apologized for her tardiness. As I chattered in the front seat I explained, “It’s good to be out of that mess, it’s good to be on my way to somewhere new.” And in that instant a pothole appeared out of nowhere and as fast as you can say “kathump kathump” the drivers side wheels were flattened.
“I don’t have a credit card, I don’t have money. They’re all maxed out.” She admitted as we pulled over to the side of the freeway. And so I pulled out my card and handed it to the sour-faced tow truck driver who seemed to appear almost immediately. $127 is a lot of money for a man living off of $500 a month. …The poor giving to the poorer, how egalitarian.
While the car was dragged by winch onto the back of the tow truck the dark sky opened up and snow flakes started to pepper the windshield– like dandruff from God. My only thought was how the saying “when it rains it pours” applied to snow. “When it snows it snows” even that sounded defeatist.
From there it only got worse. Tires needed to be ordered in from another store which took three hours to arrive. My 42 year old driver needed to call her mom to get a credit card number to pay for the $500 worth of new wheels. When we finally hit the road a blizzard stormed on the highway while we inched along.
When I arrived home, I dropped all my bags and hurled myself upon my bed. I turned the electric blanked up to 9 and buried myself deep into the sheets.
And although I was tired, I couldn’t help but think: Today was a gift, and tomorrow will be a treasure.