Yesterday, Serenity stalled for the first time. It was pretty scary; the engine just quit and she started to roll backwards before I even knew what had happened. I was trying to step on the brakes and nothing was happening, and it took a few seconds for me to put her in park and catch my breath. I had to act cool then, and signal people around me with my hazards blinking, act like I could handle it and everything was fine. I popped the hood and put a quart of oil in the tank while a few guys tried to be helpful, standing around and saying I should probably take her in for a tune-up. I just laughed and said, "She needs a lot more than that." I felt like screaming and starting to cry, but I knew I couldn't do that. So I laughed it off, closed the hood, turned the key and prayed. She started up and I acted like I had known she would all along. I drove the rest of the way home. My hands shook for hours afterwards.
I know this is some kind of test from the universe, to see if I can handle it. Handle living here alone, being a real adult. I feel like there's somebody up there watching to see what I'll do, if I'll pass or if I'll just sit in the middle of the floor and cry. Sometimes I feel like that's been my whole life: being poor growing up, struggling with problems in my family, having a nervous breakdown, fighting again and again through everything and just having to persevere.
At times like these, I make myself remember how lucky I really am. I have a home. I have a job that pays the rent and buys food every week, and there are so many people who don't have that. I'm healthy, and Viola is healthy. I have friends and family who love me, even if they are far away. I have talents that some people don't have, and one day I might even make a living with them. I get to drink iced chai in the mornings.
I had a talk with Serenity on the way to work this morning. I told her that if she would just hang on a few more months, I would promise to pay better attention, and make sure to keep her full of oil in the future. I wouldn't yell or curse at her (which I never do anyway), but she had to just keep running a little longer. I hope she listened.