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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Get in the Zone

Gabe is gone. It has been quite easy to do the big things: eat, run errands, etc. It is the little things which become nearly unbearable: taking out the laundry he loaded, putting away the quesadilla maker that he last used (I always tell him to put the dang thing away), listening to a radio program he loves... But I have been doing well. This is not my first rodeo; I know what to expect and how to cope. I know now that everything really truly

will be ok. I cry and Sammy kicks it into comfort mode (he is not new to this either). We're good.

So this morning, though it was hard to take the first shower since he left (don't judge), I got myself ready for work minus the sandwhich my husband usaully packs me - yes, he really is that awesome. I let the dogs do their business, getting tangled up in leashes and overwhelmed by fur. I got my purse (which is really more like a duffel bag), my laptop, my coffee, George, his kennel and myself out the door - a miracle to be sure. Then I arrived at the car, relieved to set down my luggage and put the key in the ignition. It started, but it shook and since I am not a mechanic or even really a very smart person, I turn the thing off and try to start it again. Well of course it does not even turn over. I am quite familiar with the sound: my battery is dead. Gabe and I have known that a new battery was going to be a necessity very soon, but being broke we ignored the issue and hoped it would last until we had the funds to fix it.

In my panic I call Beth, crying like somebody just stole my milk money, and she heads over to my house. In the meantime I call my dad who is in Texas and have him dictate how exactly one applies this magic "jump" to one's car. By the time Beth arrives I am confident on what to do. She talks to Levi and he confirms my plan so we hook the cables to the car (ground on first, ground off last - don't forget it!). Glory of glories the car starts. Only now we are faced with the task of removing these cables (which I myself have accidently touched together and been inches from death when they shocked.... perhaps not inches.... but it was loud... or maybe just surprising... I don't know, my memory may have distorted it a little). I have seen people remove jumper cables from their batteries before and I have seen them live, but when you are standing there in front of a running car and all you can imagine is a painful, embarrassing death on the grass of an apartment complex your confidence in any theory at this point is shot. I probably would have disbelieved in gravity had I not been standing on the ground. I talk to Levi and explain to him that the cable coming from the red metal thing is TOUCHING the black metal thing and that I do not want to be electrocuted. He says that it should be fine and advises me to do the other car first. But then I realize that both Beth and I are going to have to remove cables and I decide that if someone is going to die it will not be the one with the child. So here I am, standing in front of my car, clutching my legs, yelling "I can do this," trying to figure out how to grab this thing. Beth suggests I touch it first so I will not be afraid of it which is a novel idea except that my hand is in some sort of rebellion and will not comply. I keep shrieking whenever it gets close. So Beth braves it for me, touches it with her index finger, does not die and convinces me that the handle will not kill me. Here I go: I scream at the top of my lungs, grab the handle, can't get it off, keep screaming, use both hands, get the thing off, look at Beth, who is also screaming and we do a little dance. I am genuinely amazed and relieved to still have my life. She takes hers off and we unground them (I don't know if that is the term, but we did it). So now we are jumping up and down shouting, "We did it!!" and holding onto this jumper cable. I go to put it down and Beth yells, "No!! Not on the wet grass!!" so we expell it onto the concrete and there it stays, while my pulse calms, like a slain monster. The story ends, like any good story, with McDonald's.

We went to Auto Zone and they ran a test which proved that my battery was bad. So I now have a brand new battery... And of course it had to happen 2 days after Gabe departed (and as his phone was dying - though praise God that I could tell him it all worked out). So the "business trip" begins....

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