Our human batteries

Posted on April 4, 2011


My car has issues. This is no secret if you know me, if you have ever ridden my car, and probably even if you have only ever heard of or seen my car. I’m pretty sure it’s obvious just by looking at it. Some of the issues it has are good issues – some of them, no so much.

This week it took to it’s old habit of not starting. For anyone who has not been privy to the ancient chronicles of my car, which is as old as I am, it went through a tragic period of five or so months in 2008 when it required a push-start anywhere from one to a dozen times, depending on how much traveling was going on. When it finally quit starting altogether on one cold night in Florida (which means it Has to have been in December since that’s the only month we really get those), it was towed off to my trusty mechanic’s shop for a diagnosis. My distributor had been going bad for those past several months resulting in the sporadic starting and lack of starting.

Nate and I decided that it needed to go to shop after I sat for 40 minutes after work on Friday trying to get it to start – which it naturally did, only after Nate was already on his way to pick me up. The night prior, we were ironically at Auto Zone picking up something for Nate’s car when it wouldn’t start. We decided to try my trusty old push starts. I don’t know if my car was particular to people, or if this trick just doesn’t work because of the specifics of its mechanical malfunctions at present, but it has only started once before with Nate push starting it and this wasn’t the first time he’d tried. So, after several tries, and needless banging on the steering wheel in frustration for me, Nate decides to do the smarter thing, and call AAA. I have already lifted the hood, inspected the engine for any obvious issues – the starter wire being disconnected for instance — this happened once midway returning from the Carolinas on a road trip and Chris and I didn’t know it until we got back and had push started the car every time we stopped from the middle of Georgia to Tampa. Talk about a headache. I saw none, flumped back into my seat and proceeded to be a complete pain in the neck to my sweet husband who was trying hard to help with the situation.

For anyone who has ever helped me with my car before when it was in dire trouble (as constant as the trouble sometimes was) and especially pushed that hunk of metal down the road while I popped the clutch, Chris especially, since I think you take the cake on the number of pushes and the worse ones (middle of Kennedy Blvd at around 5-6 pm?!) — THANK YOU!
I have no idea if I was this much of a jerk all the time (I do know I was during the Kennedy incident), but I am so sorry for anyone who has to put up with the mess that sometimes come along with my car. It would be much preferred that every time my car wouldn’t start it would be like the afternoons I got stranded at a school park for a few hours until someone could pick me up or on the side of the road with a good book with my feet out the window a breeze while I waited for the tow truck. As it clear by now, those are not the majority of the time, but I will do my best to be more pleasant when my engine isn’t cranking correctly.

Ironically, this post was not intended to be about my car. I, like my car, am not always so good at starting. Since I just finished a round of antibiotics, I don’t think me having been sick on Wednesday and Thursday is an excuse for the today’s extreme lethargy, but whatever. I slept a solid ten hours last night, another two and a half this afternoon, and when I woke up and Nate was gone at work, I felt like either sleeping more or just lying on the floor and starting at the ceiling for a few hours. I had chapters to read for school that I hadn’t, laundry to fold that was piled in not one, but three baskets, and felt so alone. So what do I do? Text one of my oh-so-fabulous friends, Kim.

I feel like I operate on a battery that doesn’t keep a charge well. If I don’t get enough human interaction, and varied human interaction (because God bless him, I love my husband, but living in 240 square feet of space together begs a bit of variety every now and again), I start to die. My horsepower is closer akin to weaselpower in my steel-and-wheels vehicle, but when my human battery is charged up, I can accomplish the sort of things that most folks need steroids and methamphetamine to even feel motivated enough and awake enough to do. At least that’s how revved up I feel when I have what I need.

I just want to say thank you to my car-pushers and my battery chargers. I really don’t know how I would get up every day if it weren’t for you.

“Anyone can slay a dragon, he told me, but try waking up every morning & loving the world all over again. That’s what takes a real hero.”
-Brian Andreas

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