Friday, July 8, 2016


I am barefoot still wearing pajama bottoms when I step out into the driveway to take out the trash. What I find is a small group of men milling in the street around BC as he stands behind my car. The men of 9th West are discussing her fate as if it is an open casket viewing.  

I wander out to hear the phrase I have come to know too well: head gasket. That leads into the California plan. The one which involves disemboweling my car, driving the engine to the port, and exchanging it plus a few grand for a new-used Japanese engine. 

This would be the 3rd such discussion about this particular subject this morning. 

I squint in the harsh light, "You are talking about my car?"

BC laughs nervously, "They are all really worried about it." 

I shrug and walk away. 

Yesterday in the canyon Beach had asked, "Mom, if you could have any life what one would you have?" 

I thought about it, "This one. If you love 85% of your life you are doing pretty damn well."

"What would you change?" 

"My car.... my running shoes... a new computer would be nice. But see this is all stuff. If all you want to change is stuff than your life is a good one."

"If you could have any car for free and you didn't have to pay gas, what would it be?" 

"A Silver Subaru wagon... with a bike rack." 

She smiled thinking I was lying. Partly because she knows I have always wanted a truck but I don't pursue getting one because I have too many kids to haul around.

"No honestly," I said, "but it wouldn't be just any old one off the street. I want the top of the line. I would want the Alaskan package and leather seats. An automatic and it would have the best stereo system ever installed in a car."

"Not a truck?" she baited. 

"No, a Subaru is 85% perfect for me and what I need to get done."

"Mom, I love that we hike and camp and collect rocks... I'm sorry you don't have your car."

"It's okay. Besides, on days like today, I love 100% of my 85% life." 

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