STICK SHIFT MISHAPS AND MANLY CONSTERNATION
Yesterday, after waiting anxiously for six months, my aunt finally anted up and sold me her car. I have the title and registration in my visor because the glove compartment doesn’t open. My car’s radio is after-market because the original stereo was stolen about a year ago. The transmission and the engine has less than 50,000 miles on it , but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the odometer. It’s stuck at 230,399.
The seats are busted open, the power windows screech and only one stereo speaker runs right.
The other quirk with the car is starting it up.
My aunt reached in a compartment and handed me a wire and a flashlight.
"I’m going to show you how to hotwire the car. When it’s been sitting overnight, or gets too cold, it won’t start from the key."
I looked at my aunt, incredulous. Ordinarily, she is a square and does square things—-book club and knitting and what have you. But one day, a guy who does work for her around her house showed her how to hot wire this old car. It has some sort of lingering electricial problem.
"He’s a full blood Indian." she remarked. "Does fantastic painting work around the house. I can’t remember his tribe at the moment."
In any case, she showed which part of the wire to touch to the engine and the car’s battery. It feels, looks (and probably is) very dangerous, but it works. I handed her 300 dollars and assured her I’d take the car to transfer the plate as soon as I could drive down the road in it.
My mother wanted to run around with me in the car. She used to drive a stick before I was born. Somewhere inbetween the 22 years of then and now, she has forgotten. Disgusted at having to hot wire it 5 times in my own driveway, I called Lonie for assistace.
Lonie daily driver is a stick, so she knew exactly what to do. We spent three hours in a high school parking lot driving around in circles and trying to avoid the oblong stares of neighbors and police. I shifted all the way to fourth and learned how to come to a sudden stop. I’ve yet to master reverse, however. In the end, we came back to my place and talked about men, money, travel and language before she went home around 1 am.
This is going to be a long and scary week behind the wheel.
There’s a man I’ve met on Facebook. We became pen pals after meeting each other in a group we both belong to. He lives in Nigeria. I private-messaged him after finding out he had contracted malaria to see if he was gonna make it. We talked quite a bit before I started receiving the phone calls. At first I did not answer because the phone number was way too long to be from the States.
After being out and about, I checked my messages on Facebook and realized it was him calling me. I had forgotten untl then that my phone number was visible to my friends on Facebook. I panicked. I’ve been talking to my girlfriends about this situation because his letters have become progressively more affectionate. I told my family about this too.
They were all as weirded out by his sudden phone call as I was.
Tonight, I wrote him and laid it out on the line. He’s too far, too forward and too… soon. I’m not ready for a relationship, much less a long-distance one. He wrote me back to tell me he understood and that he was sorry for making me feel uncomfortable. He also said to me that he’s just fine with us being friends. We sorted (most of) the discomfort. He called me and we talked for about thirty minutes. He does the calling so I don’t have to pay the international rate. For him, 20 minutes on the phone with me costs him 1 dollar.
He has a rich, deep voice full of whatever his native tongue is (he has not told me yet, but I’m 95% certain it’s not French). It’s melodious, and I like it. He also has a much heavier accent than I could have ever known reading his letters (which are extremely fluent).
We had a lot of trouble understanding each other, mostly from my end. Our conversation sputtered between stops and starts because of my untrained American ear.
I told him, absently, “I’m sorry I keep interrupting you. I just want to make sure I understand. Your accent is very thick.”
"Well, so is yours! But I understand you well enough. Keep talking." I laughed, very hard at this. Even though we’re both speaking English, the language/ culture barrier is something ELSE.
He is a dignified, funny, intelligent, hard-working man. I do like him, despite the forwardness. But a relationship? It cannot be done. He too fills me with the same mixture of dread and longing most men cause— the tug of a relationship, the reality of a near-impossible situation, a hope that things don’t get too awkward, a near-certainty that it already has.
I hope the Lord will send me someone like him that lives less than 6,000 miles away.@1 year ago
#personal #adulthood struggles #driving #opposite sex #men #really?