This morning I got up early. Christy was picking me up. The plan was to meet Russ up in New Braunfels and we'd all go out to Canyon Lake to scout a location for the dance film Christy is making this summer.
I'd gotten up with plenty of time to make a serious dent in pot of coffee. Seven forty-five she pulled up in front of my house in her little red car. We got on I-35 and headed north. A bit of cloud cover, but it promised to shape up into a good day for poking around the banks of the lake.
When the little red car began making rattling noises and shuttering a bit, I stole a glance at Christy to see if she found anything troubling about this new development. Having owned my share of older, used cars, I saw no reason to draw attention to something that might just be a pesky nuisance. Christy mentioned something about how her car had done this before. After five or ten minutes of this, I could tell it was getting on her nerves. She moved to the center lane and slowed down some. Perhaps she was thinking about pulling off the interstate.
And then the car lurched sickeningly. With admirable aplomb Christy tightened her grip on the steering wheel and said in a calm tone: “Guess who has a flat tire?” I knew it was a lot worse than that. At the lurch, I had seen, from the corner of my eye, a large shadow fly up and over the car. I assumed that the front passenger wheel had come off and we were on the naked metal rotor. I braced myself, assuming we'd slew deeply to the right and begin to roll. But Christy aimed unerringly to the shoulder, and brought us to a halt, perfectly alined on the shoulder.
If some serious shit goes down, I can only hope that Christy Walsh is there watching my back. She's brilliant under pressure … unexpected pressure.
I got out, and yep, the wheel had indeed sheared off the rotor. Quite cleanly. Two of the lugs had snapped off. I walked to the back of the car and looked to the highway behind us. The wheel had followed us and was lying in the slow lane thirty feet away. I walked down and pulled it from the flow of traffic.
Christy crossed around to the grassy verge and fished her AAA card from her purse and punched some numbers into her cell phone. I pulled out my phone and gave Russ a call. He said he'd come on down and meet us. If nothing else, he could provide moral support.
As Christy made another phone call (to her sister, perhaps), I cautiously slid my little digital camera out of my pocket. I was lining up a shot with Christy (her back to me), and the sad, broken car. She shifted her weight from one foot to another. I was afraid she'd turn and see me, vulture-like, snapping away. I put away the camera. I didn't want to add salt to the wound.
However, when Russ rolled up, he had no such concerns. Straightaway, he whipped out his own point-and-shoot camera and herded me and Christy together to shoot the poor car between and beyond us.
Once he broke the ice, I snapped off a few myself.
The AAA wrecker showed up in under 25 minutes. I think I need to get on with them.
We offered to follow Christy back to San Antonio — she said the car was going to the garage she and her family used. But she said her sister would meet her there to give her a ride home.
I felt kind of weird not going with her in the tow truck, but I didn't want to become another hassle in a day that had already started out so poorly for her. I mean, she'd have to have her sister drop me off at my place.
Russ said he was planning to drive to San Antonio later in the day, so I stuck with him.
We headed to a place in New Bransfeld for breakfast. He'd touted their migas and homemade corn tortillas before. In front of the restaurant was a huge rocking chair. Fuck if I know what it represents. But, at the risk of dating myself as an old man, it made me think of Lily Tomlin's Edith Ann character. I hopped up into it and felt like a kid again. And by that, I mean I felt incredibly self-conscious and awkward.
As we were enjoying some kick-ass migas and corn tortillas, Russ got a call from his daughter. She was getting a new tire at the Firestone place a couple of miles away. She was bored, while waiting for the tire to be mounted. Russ suggested she “read some of those hunting magazines they got there.”
But he's not really that callous. After we finished, we tracked her down at the tire place, and Russ paid for the two new tires she had ordered.
Russ needed to make a detour to Seguin to look after the two Pekinese he occasionally dog sits. They're delicate critters who need constant medication. On a positive note, they are pretty damn cute. For lap dogs, that is.
On the outskirts of Segiun (a town, apparently known for it's cash crop of pecans) was this gigantic pecan. I had an overwhelming desire to steal it and place it in that big-ass rocking chair. And it would still look like a huge pecan.
(This one's for you, Paula!)
Later I gave Christy a call. Her mechanic was on duty. On a Saturday! And she's back on the road. Amazing! Only something like 150 bucks poorer. Good for her. First, she didn't die. And then, she got her car repaired on the same day pretty damn cheap. We should all be shopping where this girl gets her karma.