Monday, February 23, 2009
Tennessee Road Trip, pt. XI
I was going to say that, other than sitting in the back of a Fayette County police cruiser this morning for half an hour while my van was being searched for contraband, the trip home was easy and nothing special. The officers did not find any materiel and let me proceed with a stern admonition and my promise to always be a good boy.
That was before it broke down outside of Lebanon and was towed to a garage. This time, at least I was somewhat close to an exit on Interstate 40 than before, so I walked up to the BP station and asked about a garage as I fished for my wallet in vain. The lady at the register said there was none. I was out of breath and slightly exasperated, so I hissed something under my breath like "what, do your cars never need repair?" which went right by her fortunately. She gave me the number of a towing service, and the truck showed up just as I walked back to the dead van/bedroom/dressing room/paperweight at the side of the highway. The driver saw me clawing at the door as the Eurovan rose to its towing position and said "You lookin' for a wallet?" I nodded, and he told me he'd seen one between the seats. Losing my wallet would have been the coup de grace, all this having happened before noon.
The trip home is conspiring against me to take far longer than it was supposed to. All I want is to be with my family at my house in Durham, decompressing. Instead, I'm waiting to spend more money that I didn't make to fix my car so that I can drive all night.
I hope there is no f*cking Day 12.
Diagnosis: out of coolant, but more importantly, a bad timing belt that has to be ordered, which will arrive tomorrow morning at 10:30. Installing it will cost around $700. So there is going to be a Day 12 after all, and an expensive one.
There is also the possibility that, new timing belt be damned, I might need to replace the engine. The nice mechanic guy said that he could get one for just under $3000. What a bargain. I found another one in New Jersey for $800, and I'll have to see if these people will let me get that one sent to them instead, if I need it. Doesn't sound like it though, as they have one specific place they order parts from.
I am staying at a motel near the garage. I'm trying hard to keep my attitude happy, or at least productive. Really, though, I feel like crying and kicking a wall, so I will do my level best to keep that in check.
I'm going to try clicking my heels together and saying "there's no place like home, there's no place like home." With the luck I've been having today, I'll probably have security down at my door for disturbing the other tenants.