Tuesday, October 07, 2003
      ( 8:56 AM ) Rebecca  
It rained last night. When I emerged from work at 7:30, I saw the slick pavement shining in the dark and thought “Thank God!”

I thought, I can finally go home and have a relaxing night. I’d been on the run for four days – sleeping on strange beds in different cities. Escaping from my own thoughts, my own life.

So I drive home in the rain and it’s so mesmerizing, I don’t even turn on the radio. I don’t have to cry in the rain; it’s like the sky is crying for me.

I think about crawling into bed, reading a book, falling asleep at 9 p.m., sleeping clear through til 9 a.m. the next day – untroubled by sad, confused dreams.

But there is one more challenge I have to face before I can pull the down comforters over me.

The Garage.

I have been parking in The Garage under my building for only two weeks now. For over a year, I struggled nightly to find parking in my neighborhood, so imagine my delight when someone moved out of the building and I got one of the five coveted parking spots.

Well. I soon discovered that for the spatially challenged, navigating this narrow parking spot from a narrow alley is a nightmare. Within one week, I gouged, scraped, and dented the right side of my new car one dark night.

Facing The Garage has now become a harrowing experience. I sweat. My heart beats rapidly. And for ten minutes, I pull in, out, in, out, clipping the side mirrors, praying I won’t do any more damage, until finally, I get in safely – but usually with the car only two inches from the wall.

So you can imagine my state of mind last night when I approached The Garage in a loaner car from my dealership. Imagine my state of mind as I started the endless, fearful process of inching my way in. And you can imagine the complete and utter despair that gripped me when I heard the first crunch of metal against wood.

This time, though, despair notwithstanding, I did something smart. I got out of the car. Unlike last time, I did not try to fix the mess I had gotten myself into, therefore only making it much, much worse. Instead, I left the loaner car halfway in The Garage, hazard lights on, and made a phone call.

A somewhat pathetic, female phone call to GuyPal #1, which ended with me saying in a small, pathetic, female voice, “Can you come over and help me with this?”

Pause. “Well, I just ordered a pizza. And I’m in my pajamas…”

I held my breath.

“OK, I’ll be there in half an hour.”

Then I got off the phone and cried. I cried for how pathetic I am. I cried for how lucky I am and how unlucky I am. I cried because I don’t have anyone to put their arms around me and say “it’s OK.” I cried because the sky just wasn't crying enough for me right then.

Half an hour later, GuyPal #1 arrived and miraculously saved the car from any damage. I threw my arms around him and thanked him profusely.

“You’re my hero,” I told him. And he is. He has been there for me countless times in the last year and a half. From waiting for me while I confronted Loser about his infidelity, to advising me on first-date and post-breakup strategies, from telling me how wonderful I am, to keeping me company in my darkest hours, he has been the best of friends.

I went to bed at 11:30 instead of 9, and my sleep was troubled, and I woke up too early, but at least I don’t have another banged up car in The Garage.

I gotta get rid of that parking space. Before it hurts me any more.

See, I'm learning.

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This blog was the inspiration for my novel. It helped me get through a horrible breakup and kept me entertained for years. But all good things must come to an end. I will recycle oldies but goodies from the archives here, but will blog about about writing here, and about all kinds of other stuff here.

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