My car died last night. Right in the Lowe’s parking lot. With help from a friend with a pickup, I got it back to my street where it will set until I find someone to buy it off of the internet, or until I get tired of waiting and call a local charity to pick it up.
I couldn’t sleep last night. I woke up at 2:30am trying to figure out how to handle this situation. Unfortunately, going without a car is not much of an option when you need to be all over town, often with a 5 month old dog in the passenger seat – Max wouldn’t balance well on a bicycle, nor is he allowed on public transportation. As is the problem with many of my generation, I don’t save as much as I should, and that means I’ve got to (once again) lean on family for financial support despite being 28-years old.
I guess you could say I don’t have much reason to feel bad for myself. I could have started saving long ago.
Funny thing is that yesterday evening, after giving up on jump starting my car and accepting that this time it really will be too expensive to pay for its resuscitation, my friend and I stopped at a gas station. A gaunt man probably in his 40s asked us for a ride from uptown New Orleans to Causeway Blvd in Metairie (two or three miles). He was not alone, but with a child of maybe 3 years in a stroller. The child was eating ice chips from a Styrofoam cup, possibly the only thing the gas station was giving away for free on a hot and humid night the final day of summer.
With the stuff I had just purchased at Lowe’s in the back seat and trunk, we had no room for them and wished them well.
I saw that man ask three other people for rides in the time I was there. No ride givers in that ten minutes.
Either he eventually found a ride, or he walked it, pushing a stroller with a three year old a few long miles.
I guess you could say I don’t have much reason to feel bad for myself. I could have started walking and begging for rides a long time ago.
This all gets at one thing: I often forget the barriers my clients face. A car that I knew was close to death finally goes out and suddenly my world is upside down despite still having an apartment, a dog, a job, friends and a family that will likely help to bail me out of this one. Where would I be without the apartment, dog, job, friends and family?
I guess I ought not be so quick to cast judgment.