Chapter 3: The Eye of the Storm8:04 am: As I near the George W Bridge on the road to from New York to New Jersey, talking about how my drive is (not) moving along I begin to put put putter. While I am on the right side of the road, but not quite the shoulder and trying to explain it is going to take longer than I expected to get to the meeting - that time line immediately extended.
With a car stalled out 3.2 miles from GW bridge, blocking traffic breathing slowly after screaming "F a duck" or another favorite "Mother F'er" in the ear of my poor unsuspecting phone a friend. Her response? "Do you want me to look something up for you, on the Internet?" While I appreciated the thought and offer to help I had all that covered - what I needed now? A way out and off to Jerse.
I called AAA, however inconvenient, and awaiting help. As I waited, so close to the side of the road, yet so far - I was warmly received with honks, middle fingers and the love that only New York can show. Two guys pulled over and while I thought there was nothing they could do to help, how I was wrong. As usual. These two angels came over and helped me steer (backwards) down the slight incline I was on, onto the shoulder. Ah and finally the silence set in - no more cussing, fingers flying or honking as I await for the tow truck. Tow truck #1 that is.
Oh yeah, that's right because of the road I was on, AAA couldn't send a truck. What they could do is let a company who could pick me, pick me up - tow truck #1 and when I get towed off the exit, call again and get into tow truck #2. Honestly. While I waited for the first pick up, C found a place to bring my car. If any luck my piece O junk could be fixed at my final destination where the guy there has a level 3 English. Sure we didn't know what he said, mostly, but the hope was you didn't need to speak English well to fix a dang car. He told C he would 'call me' (we think) and he never did. At this point, I'm thinking there was a misunderstanding, miscommunication perhaps I didn't give him enough time. I'm hopeful his optimism will be contagious and not his business etiquette of returning phone calls.
9:40 am: Tow truck #1 dropped me off in the BoogieDown Bronx, with a special little surprise. He decided to "shake" my car before dropping it. Apparently, that did the trick and before demanding a tip, the tow truck driver #1 informed me that the car started. Of course it did, and unfortunately this has happened before.
I called AAA again, as instructed and was told to "Sit tight" (where would I go) and the next tow truck would be by to get me on or before 11 am (I repeat, it's 9:40 am at this point). He dropped me off, right in front of a D&D. Where my morning really began, but was so not soon to end. At this point in my journey, despite my recent pit stop, I got worried. I needed to use the ladies room, but didn't want to leave my car on the side of the road in the BoogieDown. And then it hit me, oh yeah - it's broken down. Where would anyone take it? Event though the car started, I could tell there wasn't a whole lot of power left in her, and so what if it got stolen?
10:40 am Tow truck #2 arrives, and oh boy was that fun. First the truck itself stalled as he was loading up my stalled car. While I sat on the side of the road awaiting the next leg of my journey I just laughed. I laughed so hard I'm fairly certain the driver was going to call the police reporting a 5150. Despite that scare, he really wanted to push the envelope.
Tow truck driver: "Your car is pretty strapped in there."
Me: "I hope so."
Him: "We don't want to get there with out the car."
Me: "No. No we don't. But frankly I wouldn't be surprised."
It's at this point he proceeds to tell a story about how once he got to his destination with out the car he was towing.
This is not a drill. I am not making this up.
We arrived to the car's final destination (not mine) and while I couldn't figure it what in the hell the guy was telling me - what I could figure out is my mom would pick me up at the wine store a few doors down. He said he would call me. I started walking to go get some vino, up a hill - and slipped down it of course because that's how I roll and who would really be surprised?
12:01 pm: Arrive at Nana Lu's. It's at this point I am in the eye of the storm. Through the madness and at a calming - the thing with the eye of the storm? It's just the beginning of the end and there is more to come.