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Friday, January 05, 2007

Angels Among Us

Good people still exist. Who knew? After my car was given the hit and run treatment, I got an attitude. Well, I had one before that, but back to the point at hand. I was really pissed. I was sure society as a whole was headed down the shitter and I was ready to go along willingly. Why be nice? Why volunteer? Fuck it. “P.S. our police force blows donkeys, where can I join in on some illegal activities?” Not really the attitude I typically have, mind you, but I was warming up to the new me.

You guys called it as I tried convincing myself. You knew. I had huge doubts, even though I fucking love you all a whole bunch, I thought you had way more hope for good to come than I did. You said everything would be okay. And, well, you were right.

I got a call from the dent doctor and he said, “Your car is ready.”

“Wow! That was fast! The other guy said it would be ready Saturday.”

“I’ll keep it until then if you want.”

“Oh, no, that’s okay. I’m glad you were able to get it finished sooner. I’ve felt pretty grounded not having my car.”

“Okay, see you later.”

I hung up, headed out, and of course, the stupid temperature dropped and the rain/sleet had begun. Not exactly perfect walking conditions. I whined to my friend Mary on the phone, “Hey, can you drive Miss Daisy to fetch the car?”

“Sure, brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on some clean clothes…”

“You’re treating me like one of the kids.”

“I’ll be there in a couple of minutes.”

Mary has been there through all of my bitching and moaning every single day over coffee. Ironically enough, she keeps coming back for more, and I love that my insanity doesn’t bother her in the least. In fact, I think she kind of likes it.

We pulled up and saw what looked like my car. It was so shiny and looked all newish. In my excitement, I couldn’t get out of her car. I swear she had put on the child safety locks just so I would make an ass of myself. She got out of the driver’s side, opened my door, grabbed my arm and escorted me out of her car. Good friends who literally baby you are very hard to come by.

We said our goodbyes and I headed into the auto mechanic’s. The owner was in and he introduced himself. He began by saying they’d fixed the crack in my windshield too. That news was great to hear. The car had a tiny crack when I got it a few months ago. As soon as the cold weather hit, the tiny crack grew into a giant smiley the length of the windshield.

“That’s great! Thank you so much.”

“You know, it’s a really shitty thing they did to you, taking off like that. My kids have spent a lot of hours at the teen center and I really appreciate all of you volunteers and what you do.”

He made me smile a big goofy grin. Someone finally noticed that while I was trying to do good, bad things happened. I felt proud and that anger I’d been hanging on to quickly slipped away.

“I did all of the work myself so I could save on labor costs.”

“Well, from what I can tell, you did an excellent job, thank you.”

“I just wanted to make sure you didn’t have to eat that $500 deductable of yours.”

This man was paying it forward and I almost got all girly and cried right there. All of the stress and worry and somehow, this wonderful stranger person had my back the whole time. See how right you were?!

I refrained from hugging and kissing the man, but there was no holding back that enormous goofy grin on my face. I thanked him profusely and headed out. It looked so nice, brand new, even. I wanted to take a long drive and inhale the lingering paint fumes, but I had to get back home to call Mr. Lane.

“Oh my God, babe, you are not going to believe this!!! I have the best news ever!!!”

“You found yourself a rich man and are leaving me.”

“Ummm… no. Okay, let me start over. You are not going to believe this! I have some really good news!”

Dryly, he said, “Funny. What’s your news?”

“My car is ready all fixed up and beautiful and it looks new and the owner of the shop did all of the work himself so he didn’t have to pay labor costs and he replaced my windshield too and he didn’t charge me extra for that in fact he didn’t even charge me the $500 or anything because he said I did a good deed and he appreciated me being at the teen center for the kids because his kids go there, and …”

He cut me and my run-on-sentence-of-excitement off at the pass and said, “Did you blow him?”

Dryly, I said, “Funny, ummm, no.”

“Hell, I’d blow him for that!”

“You are a sick little monkey.”

“That’s why you love me. Anyhow, that’s really cool news, babe. So why don’t you take that money and go get some insulation, drywall and some more wood for the kitchen, so we can get back to our project Friday night?”

“Well, yeah, about that… no way am I strapping all of that crap to my shiny new car. We’ll take your truck when you get home.”

“I was just kidding anyhow. But that is really cool because now we can get all of the materials we need to finish the kitchen and then we can get started on those cabinets we are planning on building and you know I really want to get that wall knocked out of the utility room and the one in our bedroom so we can put in a master bathroom because we could put in a standup shower, sink and toilet relatively cheap and easy and after we finish that…”

I had to cut him off, “Ummm, honey? We didn’t win the Lotto.”

Tonight I’ll be at the teen center chaperoning another dance. My edge is gone and so is my anger. But I will be parking in the North-40. Stay tuned for more construction and destruction coming soon to a blog near you. Have a great weekend everybody!