You ever have one of those days that just sucks from the minute you open your eyes? Me too. Thursday, July 1st was one. One year and one day after I hit a year sober and cigarette free. I was leaving on a road trip to MD, IN and TN to visit my fam and peeps and nothing was going as planned. I woke up late, it was raining, my dog was being an ass, the gas pump wouldn’t take my card-you get the picture. I blasted music and headed 1000 miles north. Somewhere in SC, in the left lane, doing 80mph, my brakes went out. If anyone cares to go back to #54 (my 5th blog post) you’ll see that last year, on a similar road trip, Hailey and I spun out in the left lane doing 80; unscathed. This time was similar. I pushed the brake down to the ground-nothing. Something told me to tap it quickly instead. That worked enough to get me off an exit in the one horse town of Walterboro.
I came to park at a small gas station in extreme heat. Called AAA. Got Hailey water from the gorgeous cashier who had ass length braids, footlong lashes and the kindest demeanor I’ve seen in months. She was nicer to me than most of my local friends. After calling several places, I found a mechanic who could see my car, 15 miles away. They warned me that AAA takes forever and offered to come tow my car for $225; I declined. An hour and 4000 degrees later I called them back and said “yes, please”. The glamourous cashier, Chadira, kept checking on me; and the 3rd time, I asked her for Marlboro black. Not gonna lie, that cigarette almost made the ordeal worth it.
So the tow guy from the auto shop comes, straight out of agro man central casting. He’s 5’2, angry already, spitting chewing tobacco like it got in his way. I said, “you sure it’s alright for my dog to ride?” He starts throwing the tow chains and cursing “that dog better ride in the fucking car”. I was like hell naw bro we’ve already been waiting out here for almost 2 hours in the blistering sun-that isn’t going to fly. I’ll wait for AAA. He stormed off cursing me to high heaven. AAA refused to come when I called to check saying the call had been cancelled. At this point I was about to buy booze, cigs and sleep in my car.
Enter Chadira. She called her husband, who came in a truck. He looked at my car and went to pick up a local mechanic. Who bleed my brakes in 15 minutes and declared my car good to go. While he was doing this, we smoked and commiserated about the state of the world and how no one helps each other out anymore. He asked for next to nothing for saving my ass. I made it 500 miles. Chadira texted me the entire way to make sure I was alright. She checked on me more than anyone else I’ve known including friends of 20 years. Now, I took it to a mechanic here and he says I’m a miracle because my car is so utterly fucked it will take 5k (I bought it in 2010 for 10k) to fix. Which means I have to say goodbye to my second Honda in 21 years. But, I do know, beyond a shadow of any lingering doubt, that guardian angels do, in fact, exist.