poetry at a thruway rest-stop

The last five days, minus my night at an art show hosted by Charlemange, have been some of the most stressful, not to sound like a drama queen, but like ever. I’m sure its the cancer speaking. The events aren’t THAT bad…except maybe my trip to the Buffalo Cancer Center Tuesday, but fucking hell, why am I being tested so much? You know I can’t handle things. I mean, I’m the person who yells in my car if I see a person talking on a cell phone at a stop sign.

“Fucking idiot! Drive, why don’t cha!!”

So let’s start at the beginning, shall we. My car. My dear delightful rust bucket of a car bought on 6/6/06. Its been a pretty decent car, other than costing over a $1000 in repairs last year. But in the last month its been having trouble starting. How many times have I had one of my many, many doctor appointments, gotten in the car and it wouldn’t start. A lot! And then last Wednesday after my art class I sat in a church parking lot (it probably didn’t like my 6/6/06 car sitting in its holy parking lot) and it wouldn’t start for over 10 minutes and then sputter-sputter…cough.

In the meantime I had been talking to my neighbor Freaky Eyebrows about her car. She’s 57 and owned a ’96 Toyota Camry and never drove it because of driving anxiety.  So she decided to sell it. I decided to buy it after a test drive out to my cousin’s house who pronounced it in excellent condition. So yay! What I didn’t see coming was how incredibly wanky Freaky Eyebrows was going to be about absolutely everything.

OH MY GOD.  Is murder legal in New York? Quick…could someone Google that for me? She nearly drove me insane in the ensuing couple of days. Calls filled with rapid nervous talking about the car and the money filled my answering machine.  Especially the money part. The most important thing!!! As in  ” YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ” (that’s her having an orgasm over receiving a somewhat large sum of money…only large because we’re poor. I had to borrow money to buy this of course).

Naturally I had to fuck things up by not getting the money to her on the correct day. Thursday, witty…not Friday!! You would have thought I had kidnapped one of her cats and taken porno shots of it or something. She called and whimpered and moaned and complained and reprimanded me last Thursday, as in bad witty bad.  It suddenly seemed like a really bad idea…buying a car from the woman who lived right across from me.

Anyways, I guess she was so desperate to get her mitts on the money however, she abruptly decided to take the day off from her 4 hour work day at the yuppie grocery store sweeping the floor, to do the transaction with me. Unfortunately on Friday, I had one of my myriad of doctor appointments. A brain scan.

Great news! I have one! Although it really hasn’t been working much this last week. Bygones.

So I had to go to that appointment at 12:30. Naturally Freaky called me just seconds before I was leaving. Frankly, I don’t remember what she said. Probably something about the fucking plastic screws in the license plate. She talked about those a lot between Thursday and Friday.

So I went and got my brain scan. And then made several money stops. And then  away we went. During my doctor appointment, she had found out that the DMV in the north side of town was closed and that we’d have to go to one on the west side. Naturally my insurance company was on the north side. This was just the beginning of the psychotic OCD  Freaky Eyebrows that nearly drove me to murder- part of the day.

I attempted to get on the freeway for the first time in about 4 years that afternoon. I have anxiety about driving on the highway, but I figured with the purchase of a  “new” car that wasn’t ready to drop a muffler, I’d be ok. But no…Freaky Eyebrows never  stopped talking and was doing all these nervous twitchy things like looking at her watch every 34 seconds , which made me so uptight I missed the on ramp.

I’ll just edit the rest of what happened, since it was mostly about me wanting to hit her in the fucking head with a tire iron because she talked so much, but by 5 p.m. Friday, her 1996 Toyota Camry was now mine. Booya!

Monday was going to be the day I sold my old car. I always loved my old Subaru. It was rusty. It sometimes didn’t start. It  recently flunked all 5 of its inspections, but I still loved it. But I also had to sell it quickly because I have an asshole landlord who had told Freaky Eyebrows (because she called and told me how many times over the weekend??) that he was going to have it towed since it now didn’t have any license plates on it.  

My aunt had suggested junk car dealers, who usually start at about $250. Guess what? That’s a lie. I had started calling people the Friday before but nobody was calling back. One guy I called back, had even blocked my phone number. WTF! Its not like we went on a date. So by dark and after 3 calls from Freaky “reminding” me that the landlord was probably going to tow  the car like momentarily, I was stressed out to the max. Why? Because the next morning I was leaving for Roswell Cancer Center in Buffalo.

I finally called my mom at about 5:30, crying. We did briefly conspire to tow it over to my uncle’s to “hide” it, but AAA wouldn’t tow anything without plates. I finally just said “FORGET IT. FORGET EVERYTHING!” and cooked a microwave dinner. Just then the phone rang. It was the guy who had bought my last car, who works at my mom’s apartment complex. By then it was dark out. Him and his wife were out in my parking lot. So I ran outside.

Blah, blah, blah. My mother had told him not to cheat me out of my $300 asking price. His wife handed me $150. I took it. The end.

Don’t you wish you were me?

Anyhoo, the next morning I went over to my Art Friend “J”s house at 8:45. He had agreed to take me to Buffalo since, as mentioned I’m afraid to drive on highways. The trip was fine until we heard a very quiet…ding…ding…ding. “J” got off at a rest stop and checked under the hood. Everything looked fine. We got back on. ding…ding…ding. WHOOOOOSHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  A sudden huge cloud of smoke blew up from behind the car and then some billowing smoke  started to curl up from under the hood.

FUCK!

“J’s water pump was a goner about 25 miles outside of Buffalo and we were still about 40 minutes from the Cancer Center. “J” was incredibly level headed about the whole thing, but not me. I was having a meltdown inside. Neither of us had a cell phone, so he walked over to the side of the thruway where everyone was going about 85 mph and amazingly flagged down some trucker within about 5 minutes. We used the trucker’s cell phone. I called the hospital and he called a tow truck and I did something I probably wouldn’t have done five years ago. I accepted a ride from a total stranger.

Thank god he wasn’t like Jeffrey Dahmer’s brother or something.

So I got to the Cancer Center about an hour late. It didn’t really seem to matter. They just dovetailed me in.

The next part I’m a little embarrassed about. This world famous cancer doctor came in to talk to me about their chemo program and I was really rude to him. I didn’t know that that was  the reason I was there. A commercial for a chemo program. Why couldn’t they just have told me about it over the phone, god damn it. Don’t you know what I’ve just been through??? He smiled kindly and shook my hand and thanked me for coming to Roswell. And then two other chemo sales types came in and I was rude to them too, so much so that they called a social worker, because apparently I was having some kind of meltdown.

Really?

So I did talk to him for quite a while. I guess I felt guilty about my friend’s car breaking down, because by then “J” had called from the garage and they were going to keep his car over night and he would have rent a car to drive us home and then back to Buffalo the next day and I felt like the worst, blood sucking friend in the universe. The doctor told me I must have a lot of power to create so much chaos.

Ha ha ha ha! Yes, I do. So don’t piss me off, Republican Party.

“J” finally picked me up just after the hospital closed at 5:30. Did I know what he was driving? Hell, no…We didn’t have any cell phones! Remember?

(Incidentally, I am joining the Cell Phone Nation. My uncle is putting me on his Family Plan after hearing about my nightmarish adventure. So I guess I can’t make fun of people with cell phones anymore. 😦

We finally got on the Thruway to come home. I hadn’t really eaten anything since a bowl of cereal at 7:30 that morning, so we pulled off at a rest stop so I could get a sandwich. I had previously bought “J” a gift for his efforts…a little something long before I knew it was going to be such a sucktacular day. Since we’re both writers and artists, I had found him a used book called “Love and Art” with artwork and love poems. I made sure he knew it was for him AND his wife. (ahem)

Anyways, I was sitting there utterly exhausted, eating a sandwich,  as he  gingerly unwrapped the book. His face really lit up when he saw the cover. As he leafed through it, suddenly stopped, looked up at me and started reading me poems across the table. I felt so utterly touched, I almost started crying. I’ve never had anyone read me poetry aloud before. It felt so personal.

Thank you “J”. That made a really horrible day, just a tiny bit better.

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15 Responses to “poetry at a thruway rest-stop”

  1. Glynis Says:

    (hug)
    (hug)
    (hug)
    (hug)
    (hug)

    heart

  2. Kungfukitten Says:

    I cried at the end of your entry. How sweet. Despite the fact you had a really craptacular day where everything went wrong, I’m sure it brought you and your friend closer together. Hang in there. Chemo sucks but it works. Also, if you don’t already have a prescription for Valium or something similar, you should. It’s made for times like this.
    Dr. KFK

  3. stepfordtart Says:

    What a sucktacular pile o’ wank! Poor you. I guess something you could draw from this is that those couple of days really couldnt have gotten any worse….and yet you STILL managed to get through them! ((transatlantic squeeeeeze)) s x

  4. artgnome Says:

    You are amazingly strong, Witty, to get through all that. Though I know you don’t feel strong when you are in the thick of it. I had a crap week down the slope myself this week. Life is so hard sometimes. I really wish deep in my heart that you weren’t having to deal with cancer. There is not much worse than that. I got my car mostly fixed and come see you if you like. just let me know. Many prayers and hugs, juni

  5. Anna Says:

    Jesus, witty. You’re gonna be superwoman by the end of this – pretty much there already. Love and BIG HUGS xxx

  6. goatbarnwitch Says:

    What a mucked up trip, I’m glad you were able to get to your appointment and it all worked out in the end but, damn.

  7. DanjerusKurves Says:

    Oh sweetie, I’ll call you up and read poems to you! Of course, they’ll be my poems and you’ll have to pretend to be a guy … And a CAMRY!! I have one and I love it, sooo reliable!!

  8. scotvalkyrie Says:

    ((hugs)) Fucking cars.

  9. poolagirl Says:

    You are completely and totally amazing.

  10. Kathy Says:

    Thinking of you…

  11. SJAT Says:

    Major hugs coming your way Witty. And by the way the image of porno shots of the cats! I almost laughed coffee through my nose.

  12. Seacreature Says:

    First of all, thank you SO MUCH for your wonderfully kind words of encouragement on my blog. It especially means a lot to me because you are an amazing person and you really understand. I admire you so much. All that you’ve accomplished, all that you’ve improved, all the people you have touched with your wonderful writing and beautiful art.

    I’m so sorry to read that the dreaded cancer is back and you’re in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. It’s nice to see that some good has come your way in that you’re continuing to do your art and be more social, not to mention congratulations on your new car! Now it’s my turn to say… Take care of yourself and hang in there. It’s going to be fine. (((HUGS)))

  13. tmnk Says:

    Hang In there. I’mso proud of you for finding the strength, courage to laugh at, scream at, Be Sarcastic with the curve balls being thrown your way. Dammmmmn. After reading your entry, I came away thinking, you don’t have cancer, Cancer has you, and You’re kicking it’s ass every chance you get!.

  14. Stephanie Says:

    Witty! I hope you’re doing better this week. That was a lovely end to the day, if the rest of it was horrible. Take care!

  15. Bluey Says:

    Oops. Stephanie is me. I want to add, too, that I’m sorry you’re going through such a tough time. To have a sense of humour through all of that is a gift. Kudos to you.

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