This trip just keeps getting better and better.
After grabbing breakfast yesterday, I headed back over to Dad’s to continue the process of clearing out the years of trash and garbage that had accumulated in his mobile home.
Several hours later, after using up an entire box of yard-size garbage bags, and getting a very clear idea of whom my father had become, I had to take a break.
Grabbed lunch and stopped at a grocery store on the way pack to pick up a small laundry basket.
When I came out, the car wouldn’t start.
Annoyed because I’d just replaced the battery less than 48 hours earlier, but not worried, I pulled out my portable battery pack, hooked it up to the terminals and attempted to start the car.
I called Geico Roadside Assistance. About twenty minutes later a couple guys showed up and attempted to jump start the car.
“It’s probably your starter,” they matter-of-factly announced.
After arranging for an actual tow (they hadn’t arrived in a tow truck), I called the Geico Mechanical Breakdown Insurance line to get a claim started. (Being out of warranty by several years, it’s the best $15 a month I spend.) I then called North Scottsdale MINI to tell them I’d be arriving within the hour on a tow truck. I explained I was from out of state and really needed to be back on the road home on Sunday. “We should be able to get you up and running by then,” they said.
Well, that’s not happening.
I got a call from Geico this morning and the rep told me that he’d spoken to the service advisor at MINI and was told that it was the starter motor that had gone and that they didn’t have one in stock; furthermore, it would be Tuesday before they (Geico) could get out to inspect the car.
Well apparently because I’d chosen to ignore a leaking thermostat by simply topping off the coolant when needed, they need to inspect the car and see if the two are related.
This has pushed my departure date to Wednesday, not putting me back home until Thursday afternoon, losing almost two complete weeks of work; in other word, an entire pay check because I don’t have much PTO accumulated.
I immediately called my boss to inform him of the change of plans and verify that I would still have a job upon my return. “It’s family stuff. I understand and will work with HR to get you covered for as many days pay as I can.”
I’m not expecting miracles.
I called Ben and broke the news. “Don’t worry, we’ll get by. The most important thing is for you to get home safely.” He suggested I get the hell out of the mobile home and go somewhere to relax for the rest of the day. It’s not like I’m now not going to have any more time to work on Hoarders Central.
Ben suggested Copper Star, our once-favorite local coffee house in Phoenix:
And this brings me to the next point. Even if it weren’t for all the familial and automotive drama, Phoenix is no longer home. I get the same feeling here that I used to get when I visited after moving to California. The only way to describe it is “Ick. I don’t want to be here. This reeks of the past, and I’ve moved on.” I can’t fully say I am yet a Coloradan, but I can definitely say I’m no longer an Arizonan.
For the longest time after I first moved to California years ago, whenever I came back to Phoenix I had a totally irrational fear of being trapped here. Then I realized that was crazy. My life, my job, and everything I owned in the world was in San Francisco. That was where I called home, and nothing would prevent me from going back.
That’s why the events of the past couple days have been so frustrating and psychologically unnerving. This is the first time I’ve been back to Phoenix since we moved to Denver, and on the drive down I was experiencing a lot of those same emotions. I had to remind myself that my life—my love—was in Denver now.
And NOTHING would prevent us from reuniting.
(To be continued, I’m sure. After all, I’m here for several more days…)