It's not about the house.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sunday Morning, Coming Down

So anyway Chuck (TFT) needs a battery, and I told him he could have one, but if he doesn’t live long enough to justify it I’m gonna rip it out and feed it to him while he dies.

That decision was made, though, on a Sunday morning, 9:00 a.m. And battery-seller-and-installed-places aren’t open on a Sunday morning, 9:00 a.m. Or if they are, I didn’t know about it -- or care on Sunday morning, 9:00 a.m. -- because I’d already spent two hours writing, then driven a half-hour to Beacon Hill, fed a cat, had the car die, called ZZZ (ha! that was a typo but I’m leaving it), gotten a jump start, had a conversation with an overly cheerful ZZZ guy and driven a half-hour back, and it was Sunday morning, 9:00 a.m.

So I went home.

Now, it just so happens ZZZ will bring a battery to you, and install it for no charge (well, they charge for the battery but not the installation). I would have had the first guy do it right then and there, except that what I'd called for was a tow, so he didn't happen to have the battery I needed with him at the moment. That, plus I was not yet convinced that Chuck (TFT) was deserving of a new one. But halfway home I decided that he did, so I figured I'd call ZZZ back and let a different ZZZ guy do his grease-work in my driveway, while I lounged in my pjs eating bon-bons and reading the copy of the Sunday Times I’d stolen from my Lady’s cat.

I didn’t really lounge. And I didn’t really ever make that call to AAA. I’m not entirely sure what I did do with the rest of the day, but somehow it just never—oh! My dad came for lunch and took the dog away for now. Bye Charlie! See you soon!

After they left, though, Johnny and I had some sort of disagreement about Chuck (TFT). We do try not to fight in front of him if we can help it. We don’t want to mislead him into thinking that we care. But I believe we were still in the yard when this argument happened, and it’s going to take some serious mental gymnastics for me to remember what it might have been about. Let’s see…

Johnny wanted to call George. I said for a battery? He said it might not be the battery, it might be a shorting out of something enginey that drained the battery. I said I was pretty sure it was the battery. He said was I a mechanic? And I said no. But my father was a mechanic. His father was a mechanic. My mother’s father was a mechanic, my three brothers are mechanics, four uncles on my fathers side...

Really what I said was something unprintably rude.

I never did call AAA.

And Johnny never did call good old George.

*          *            *

The next morning, I was counting on blind luck and stupid happenstance to get old Chuck (TFT) started, but it didn’t happen. I went out and turned the key and nothing. No click-click-click, no groaning, not so much as a fiddler’s fairy fart. Naturally, then, I stormed back in the house to yell at Johnny.

“I wish you had called George yesterday like you said you were going to do!”

“You told me not to call George!”

“Yeah! Well! Now I have to take the bus!”

I slammed the door on my way out, just to make sure he knew he was wrong.

Normally I don’t drive into work, but that day I had to go to Cambridge on my way. Now that I was carless, then, my commute looked like this: walk to bus stop (not far), bus to train, train to Cambridge, walk to where I had to go (very far), walk back to train (very far), train to Beacon Hill, walk to work (not far), walk back to train (not far), train to bus, bus to bus stop, and walk home. Needless to say, I was in a fabulous mood when I arrived.

Again, I don't remember what we fought about that night. I do recall Johnny saying he’d been “dealing with this shit all day” to which I answered “what? what exactly did you do all day?” and he said “I made phone calls!”

I know. Right?

Although this is not altogether fair. He’d also been charging batteries. It’s too complicated to explain why we had an old-but-possibly-still-good car battery in the basement, as well as a car-battery charger, but suffice to say Johnny spent all day charging that old battery. A job which consisted of plugging it in and waiting for six hours.

Then, after we shouted at each other, he went to put that battery in the car to see if it took the charge, but he couldn’t get the old battery out. Which meant it was his turn to storm in the house and yell.

“I’ve had enough!” he said. “I’m going for a pint! This is your deal, it isn't mine!”

And I said “Oh no it’s not! There has to be at least one thing around here that’s your deal!”

I know. Right?

I’m pleased to report that Johnny did make it home from the pub in one piece at some point. Although he slept propped up in the yellow chair all night.

Ooh! Remind me to tell y'all about the yellow chair! 

To Be Continued…


Charlie said...

Ironic observation: when reading quickly, "carless" reads as "careless."

12ontheinside said...

But have you called for the new battery yet?