wheeling and dealing

What’s that creaking? Are my wheels out of alignment? Or is it just that I need new tires? Of course I need new tires, I don’t have money. So I don’t have money for new tires. Or for struts. Or for the alignment. Plus everytime I drive down the road, I hit a goddam pothole!

My neighbor hit me the other day. Backed right into the rear end on my passenger side. His truck is about eight feet tall so his steel bumper mauled the plastic fender on my car. Damn beast nearly punctured the gas tank, but didn’t. Thankfully.

The insurance is gonna give me $500 bucks for it. I’m thinking of just rolling with it shredded as is, and using the money on my art supplies. $300 on paint and easels and canvas and shit, then $100 each on booze and weed. This is probably why I’m broke, but also, it is the only way to live while broke. Living is painting and painting is living.

But fuck, what do I know? I’m driving a car that’s stressing me out and has me wondering if I’ll make it home. I don’t have much further to go, but this rattle you hear at every seam in the concrete, it’s just killing me.

That’s it right there! And I can’t tell if it’s on the right or the left or both. It’s like my whole goddam car is shaking apart.

I tell it, “Just a little further, baby.”

I’d pat the dashboard too, only part of me worries the old girl would collapse into dust under even gentle blows. So I put both hands on the wheel and pray the wheel won’t break off, leaving me to suddenly realize my steering column was only made of brittle plastic as I carreen over a cliff into a fiery and compound-fracturous death.

Cars honk angrily and whiz past me upon realizing how slow I go. Believe me, it’s not by choice. This baby only gets up to 60. Maybe I can do 65, but knowing what I know about this car, I don’t like to tempt death by pushing it to such an aggressive speed. The fact that I can usually get it up to 35 amazes me.

And yes, I have been ticketed before. Multiple times. And always because I’m driving too slow. Sometimes because I had to leave it some place–wherever it has broken down–and an officer takes offense.

Thankfully I’ve never had it impounded. I hear that can be terrible. I’m not sure I could even get it out since the title is in my uncle’s name and he died last winter.

That’s part of why I don’t leave it broken down long. I’ve been lucky to always find a way. As shitty as it is, I need the damn thing.

My job is where I’m coming from, about 16 miles from my place. In some cases, I’ll try to take the highway. That can make it maybe a 45 minute trip. But the highway isn’t always moving, and so can take longer.

Or it is moving, and I get run off the road. Or my car dies and I dodge traffic walking down a narrow shoulder somewhere. Or, inevitably, all this stress compresses into a burning gulp as the engine takes it’s dying breath, only to explode in a ball of flames and jagged metal shrapnel.

There’s nothing I wouldn’t believe about this car. And don’t even get me started on the interior.

When I first bought it, there was an outline of a Juggalo sticker on the back windshield. I’ve since been able to get it to look less obvious, the outline, but what’s still obvious is that horrid shit has happened, and is likely still happening, simply because this car continues to exist. One can deduce its sordid nature and history only by looking at it.

And I say all this as an open-minded person!

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