Sunday, February 9, 2020

Look After Your Finances

It's been a long time since I've taken this picture.  I took it again last night, the night before the Super Full Snow Moon which is actually tonight.  You can't tell the difference from this photo, though.

I took my car into the Firestone down the street at seven o'clock yesterday morning.  I took it there because it was close and I couldn't drive my car far with a broken hose.  I took it in early as the fellow at the desk said it would get done quickly that way.  When I got there, the place was a cluster fuck.  The fellow who gave me the info the day before said he would be there at 6:30 and open at seven.  He wasn't there when I got there, but he walked in as I was getting ready to leave looking hang dogged and disheveled.  I heard the manager give him a quick but meaningful rebuke.  He was going to be of no help to me, I knew, in my own matter.

I had forgotten to take the cameras out of my car before I left the house, so I slung the bag over my shoulder for the walk home.  The morning was crisp and quiet.  The light was beautiful, and I thought I needed to quit hanging around the house all morning and get up with a cup of coffee and head out to make photographs without the hustle and bustle of the workday.  I took my Leica out of the bag and started snapping photos.  No one was around.  The light was stark.  It was fun.

Back at the house, I felt stuck.  I wanted to go to the gym.  I thought about riding my bike, but it was cold.  I thought about walking there and back, but it would be a seven and a half mile round trip.  I decided to call an Uber.  I would work out and then walk home.

The Uber seemed a bit expensive, but I haven't used them in a while, and I thought that prices had naturally gone up, but when I looked at the bill after paying, there was a surcharge of about 33%.  For what?  There were no tolls.  I tried to make a complaint about the charge on my app, but I couldn't find anything that applied.  Perhaps the surcharge is like everything else in my neighborhood.  Everything costs more in my zip code.

I worked my shoulders gently for a long time, doing all of my old therapy exercises and then adding some weighted movements, trying to make my shoulder pumped and pretty without damaging any of the torn and broken structures.  I decided would skip doing my leg workout since I had to walk home, but when I stepped outside, I decided the wiser thing to do would be to lie by the pool for a bit.  Not long.  Just fifteen minutes per side.  And that is exactly what I did.

By the time I got home, it was well past lunchtime, and I was running on a single pot of coffee.  I put some eggs in the pan and opened a little container of yogurt, ate outside, and showered.  The day had drifted by me now.  Mid afternoon.  My buddy was coming over in a bit to taste my expensive scotch, or so he said, but when he showed up, he had a present in his hand.  We sat on the deck in the cool afternoon and drank scotch and talked about upcoming travel.  He has spent his money wisely on art, books, and travel, and these are the bonds between us.  He is preparing to walk the Cinque Terra this spring and is going on a safari to Africa that is similar to the one Brando cheated us out of years ago. I am envious.  He, too, has recently retired, and we talked pluses and minuses of that.

I still had not heard a word about my car, so I called Firestone.  My car was ready.  They closed in forty-five minutes.  I was lucky that my buddy was there to drive me for I might not have made it in time were he not.

As I entered the lobby, one of the mechanics, a big African-American fellow, came over and asked, "Did you get dropped off by the Lexus?"

"Uh. . . yea."

"Was that an Uber?"

I was confused.  "No.  My buddy."

He started to grin, then laugh, his big shoulders and chest bouncing up and down.  "He sure has some stickers on that car."

"Oh. . . ha!  Yea, he doesn't think much of Trump."  I'd forgotten about all the Fuck Trump stickers with which he has covered his car.

After the laughing was done, however, the bill came due.  It used to be that when. hose blew, you got your screw driver and some metal clamps and put a new one on.  That's what C.C. and I thought when the hose blew going to lunch the day before.  We looked at the little hose, though, and couldn't figure out how to get it back on.  There was a reason.  Things don't work that way any longer.  The hose fit over a little plastic nipple which had broken off.  The nipple was part of a larger plastic thing that went into the heater.  It was complicated.  Of course, all the hoses needed to be replaced according to Firestone, and the radiator had to be flushed.


What could I say?  "No, that isn't right"?  Should I have told them I knew better?

I put my card in the little gadget, slunk into my Xterra, and took my broke ass home.  "That's a great way to start retirement," I thought.  The bank account was already draining.

The sun was going down, and I was hungry after drinking scotch with my friend in the afternoon.  A simple meal, the news, and then, remembering the moon. . . .

The Super Snow Moon is tonight.  It is my birthday.  I looked up my horoscope to see what it had to say about that.  I am to look closely after my finances, I was advised, and I should be active with friendships.

Now they tell me.

The coffee is gone and the sun is up.  The cat has been fed and is hanging around watching me through the bottom panes of glass in the kitchen door.  I will wait for it to warm up a bit, and then go for some exercise.  I will have dinner with my mother tonight.  This is how it begins.  This is how it ends.