I have no car, and it is depressing. I am now like a woman without a country, all my belongings crammed into a single bag, moving from car to car as the days pass. I can't even leave a straw wrapper behind me, because that would be rude, so now my purse is crammed with receipts from drive-thrus and straw wrappers, from all the sweet tea I drink.
I drink a lot of sweet tea.
Add to that the necessity of carrying around a car charger with me, sunglasses, tissues, and everything else that usually lives in my car, and my purse has become a giant bag of stuff. I even have to carry around my back-up book just in case I finish my lunch book. So two books instead of one! That means my purse is heavy. Very heavy.
It is so heavy that I popped the button that holds one side of the strap on my purse. It shot across Walgreens like a champagne cork, ricocheting off an end cap and landing in the shaving aisle. I had to unbutton the other strap, shove the strap in my purse with the rest of my stuff, and slink across the store to pick up the button, all while praying that, on the security cameras, I looked like a girl with a broken purse and not a rampant shoplifter.
I bet I looked like a shoplifter.
I even avoided going back, because it was so shameful. I thought, "They will have blacklisted me by now. I will be a persona non grata at the Walgreens." And that is horrible because they are the only place that always has Sudafed in stock, and I can't live without Sudafed. My sinuses will explode and fly out of my face just like that button flew off my purse, and I can't imagine how expensive THAT surgery would end up. Pretty darn expensive, I think.
But today, I had to go to the store before I went to work, because I needed to buy boiled sweets.
You see, one of my fillings changed the shape of the tooth in question ever-so-slightly. The other filling (the one in Toothy), has medicine inside it and has a temporary filling. One of those things, or possibly all three, has made my mouth feel strange, so I keep swallowing air. And swallowing air makes me throw up.
I have been throwing up since Tuesday morning. Randomly, because it has nothing to do with the food I eat. One minute I'm fine, the next, I am so-very-not.
The only way I've ever found to stop myself from doing the air-swallow thing is to suck on a boiled sweet through the day.
This is likely why I have cavities. Also the sweet tea. Also I am eating pudding right now. So there's that.
I slunk back into Walgreens for a bag of Lifesavers (which are, in fact, actual lifesavers, because if I have to throw up one more time, I will throw MYSELF off the library roof). And it wasn't a big trip, so I thought it would take five minutes but it ended up taking 15 minutes because the lady in front of me needed to get cash back and Walgreens only gives you $20 at the most, so she bought what she needed, got disappointed, then bought cigarettes for another $20 back, then candy for another $20, and then something else for still another $20 until the cashier and I wanted to throw all the cigarettes at her and tell her to use the ATM two steps away. Seriously.
And then I rushed back out to the silver car, my dad's OLD car and now my mum's, jumped inside, and went to work.
But when I walked into the library, I noticed a giant smear of filth on my hand, and I knew where it had come from, and I knew it wasn't going anywhere. It was the black smudge, and it was there to stay.
The silver car (which Dad calls the Silver Bullet, after something), has some major issues. Firstly, water leaks into the trunk when it rains, forming at one point a giant pool in the trunk that we could have hatched frogs in, or mosquitoes, but mostly it grew mold.* But then Dad solved this problem in the rational way: by using an extra-long drill bit to bore a hole through the bottom of the trunk and out the bottom of the car, so the water could drain.** Also he threw away all of the non-metal things inside the trunk, like the lining and the piece of wood that covers the spare tire and makes the trunk flat and keeps the bolts that hold the car together from tearing holes in plastic bags filled with groceries. Moreover, it is a coupe, which means two doors, which means giant doors, which means heavy doors. And the doors are too heavy for the hinges. At one point, the driver's side door hinge failed and you had to lift it to close the door. That got fixed, but now it clicks a bit, meaning I don't trust that door at all. Not one bit. Then there is the smell, which is a chemical/flower smell, meaning a headache when I ride in the silver car.
None of that is enough to make me not happy to be driving the car, to be driven in the car, or grateful to have access to the car. It is reliable. It is fuel efficient. It isn't a death trap, like my '91 Honda Civic was.
No, the reason why the silver car is not my favorite is because randomly, when inside, outside, or around it, you discover smears of black filth on your hands, arms, clothes, etc. Dad told me yesterday that it was the rubber seals--that someone had attached them using a fixative that was now dissolving into greasy smears of filth. All I know is that soap and water does nothing--once that stuff is on your skin, it's not going anywhere.
And that is why I've named the silver car The Black Smudge, or Smudge for short.
* This is one of the two reasons I am actually allergic to the silver car.
** I know, you thought the rational thing was to clean out the water and have the trunk re-sealed. But don't feel bad, I thought that too! Turns out we were both wrong.