A Luncheon Adventure

Your locket falls open again.  I close it absent-mindedly; half-heartedly.  Feeling traitorous.

Yesterday I was in Berkeley proper, eating a late lunch with a by now old friend.  Afterward, the car I half-inherited from Grandma broke down, gently and anticlimactically, on the side of a lolling suburb street.  This is the car Dad insisted that I trade for with Uncle Rick, to swap my hardy 300,000 miles for his measly 30,000.  Sounded reasonable, sad as I was to see my old truck go.

And of course, how could I say 'no' to Dad, after what happened to you?  When his only interest was in keeping his last daughter safe.  (As if we have nearly as much control over this variable as we'd like to think...)

At any rate, Grandma's car pretended to be out of gas, and refused to go any further.  We tried to persuade the engine to turn over for us and fire up, but refuse it did, until I began to worry that I'd exhaust the battery by keeping it up, and make my friend late for work in the mean time.  So instead, he walked the 11-minute, 0.6-mile trek back to work before being too late, and I got to wander around in the wrong direction, in search of a gas station with a red-plastic gas can in hand.  Forty minutes and a few miles later I was there and back again, and between a quart of oil and a gallon of gas, this time she fired right up.

The silly thing is that when I drove back to Valero to fill up the tank in earnest, it was only a bit over half-empty -- exactly as the odometer had indicated to begin with.  I should have had another 100 miles or so before running out of fuel.  So, as to why Grandma's car decided to stop cooperating without any provocation, whether for reasons relating to a faulty fuel pump or the fiddling fates, know I do not.  But I have faith in nothing, if not in you, so I'm operating under the assumption that this seemingly needless detour was in fact needful, and good.

For throughout it all, your touch on everything: your sweet face in the locket, refusing to stay hidden; the amount-per-gallon of gas, set at $4.27;  10:10, the time the clock read when I turned on the car that morning, frankly reminding me.  As though I could ever forget.

All said and done, the long ride home was quiet, filled mostly with thoughts of you.

-L (3/4/12)

No comments: