I would have traveled around in my happy little Saturn until the end of its days, had the brain surgeon not rear-ended me that fateful rainy day. People always say that everything is bigger in Texas, and it's kind of true. While the rest of the nation downsizes their cars in an attempt to fight rising fuel prices, and to attempt "environmental responsibility" Texas forges on with innumerable gigantic vehicles all over the place. I wasn't hit by a gigantic vehicle, I was hit by a Lexus. A Lexus with a license plate that says "BRAIN." I'd seen this car before, and I have seen it since. Turns out its driver is, not surprisingly, a brain surgeon. Turns out that he also "didn't expect me to turn right away" (into my driveway with my blinker on for a MORE than adequate time beforehand).
In the end, my car was totaled and I had to get another one. I ended up with a 1994 Isuzu Rodeo, which I've enjoyed because it is my first "big car." Also because it's called a Rodeo. Doesn't that sound like a rollicking good time? I sure had a good time at only rodeo I've attended (at the Angola Prison). This car has served me very well, even though I have suffered through a broken air conditioner for nearly two years. I've always thought that my Texas experience would be much better with air conditioning in the car. A friend of a friend at work (whose name is Lovemore which I think is wonderful! But once when we couldn't remember what it was I suggested "Lovegood?" which Drake promptly corrected "LoveWELL, Alta.") anyway, Lovemore fixed my AC! I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's ice-cold, but it is certainly pleasant.
So now I'm waiting in the Lobby of the Pear Tree Inn in San Antonio. Drake and I had to extend our weekend after the car overheated Saturday night. It went like this:
I was shopping, and it wouldn't start. I had noticed that the oil light went on on my way to the shopping center, so I thought I'd set out to find some oil. I looked around the parking lot and ascertained that there was no gas station in the vicinity. As I was glancing around the parking lot, I noticed two men sitting in a truck with sunglasses on. They were slightly conspicuous... windows down, both in shades, sitting facing forward absolutely silent. I walked slowly by the passenger side window, and peered in to see if they seemed friendly one glanced over after I lingered slightly over-long-- "Hi m'aam" and faced forward again. I noticed they were cops, so I asked "Excuse me, do either of you know where I might get a quart of oil?" they looked at each other quietly and I could tell they were communicating with their eyes as to whether or not to talk to me. Finally the driver (he had lots of tattoos) turned to me and said "You're in luck, m'aam because I happen to know a very nice irishman who can help you." This response was enough to encourage me. I felt assured that even if my car didn't start that night, I would at least come away with a good story.
By the way, I never saw these men. That's what I'm supposed to say. They were on some sort of stake out. I thought that seemed like a fun adventure, and I did feel like I was a part of it. They got out of the car to help me out, and to wait for the irishman who was coming over with the oil. I got to hear all kinds of cop-talk about "perps" and such. They were pretty fun, and though I felt like I was unfairly taking them from their stake-out, I was very glad for their help. The irishman was a security officer from Ireland, a great guy and we talked a bit about my irish heritage and about NYC, where he lived for 10 years as an actor. One of the cops bet him that my car would need 6 quarts of oil with the caveat that they would not be "betting in shillings and tuppence like last time."
So here we sit. Apparently, timing belts and thermostats and water pumps can't be found on Sundays, so we extended our trip. Fortunately, the car will be ready at 5pm, which will be just in time for horrible traffic all the way back to Dallas. We will be stopping in West for Kolaches, but other than that who knows what will happen. Drake saw a tumbleweed on the way down here. I'm hoping for a sighting.
My husband and I are both opera singers, and in the fall we moved from NYC to Michigan, where he is now a professor of voice and opera at Oakland University. In January we bought our first house-- an 1895 Victorian, and we're expecting our first child (a boy) in April.