I just HAD to leave the house today. *facepalm*

I have a little red Nissan Sentra and I think it wants me dead. I'm almost sure of it at times. It belonged to my grandfather, which is the only reason I refuse to sell it. It's every bit as cantankerous as he was; it gave me so many problems the first winter I had it that I put 3 peanuts (salted and in the shell) in the ashtray as a bribe for my grandfather. He was never very vocal about it, but I know he wasn't a huge fan of "women drivers" and I wouldn't put it past him to jiggle wires under the hood from time to time, dead or not.

So yesterday was so shite that it was one of those benadryl bedtimes. Woke up today, later than usual and groggy as hell, about 5 minutes before my parents both left the house. I usually drive the truck (it also wants me dead, but that's a story for another time) and they generally take the car. I figured I'd been dragging my feet long enough… I still needed to go somewhere, and thought I was feeling rather ballsy today.

I called the customer service desk at the local grocery store. I wanted a prepaid credit card so I could buy something shiny but useless for my newest character in Runes of Magic and after finding out they had one in the denomination I wanted, I asked them to hold one for me at customer service.

Apparently, Marion, Iowa is so freaking boring that the only thing to do, in the entire town, is to wander the aisles at HyVee. EVERYONE was there. I'd already showered and dressed myself, gotten the car running… oh, yeah, I forgot. Grandpa hated women drivers.

OR if you don't drive it often enough, it won't start. I still think the mechanic was pulling my leg on that one. Okay, not really. But it's been such a constant problem that I have a portable jumper sitting in the front seat.

Wasn't much of an issue at first. The car started, died when I put it into gear in the driveway, but started and stayed running the next time I jumped it. Usually, it needs jumped the first time, and then the alternator holds enough of a charge (or something butch like that) after it's been running in gear long enough. The operative word is "usually."

I got to the store without incident. I got through the store in about 30 minutes, but half of that was spent hiding in a stall in the women's restroom. Don't worry, I didn't touch anything. Mostly, I just kind of stood on the other side of the door shaking and trying to breathe and wishing to hell Mediacom had a better weekend cable line-up so half these asswits would have stayed at home. I didn't even know there were that many people IN Marion.

After wandering around the parking lot for about 10 minutes (I never drive this car and forgot which one I was looking for) I climbed in and… it wouldn't start.  So I grabbed the charger, popped the hood, hooked it up, got back in and turned the key. Nothing. I gave it a couple of minutes and it started. I left the car running, unhooked the charger, closed the hood and climbed back in. After closing the door, I put the car into reverse and it died… something new and different.

This time, when I'm dragging the charger around the front of the car, I'm very aware that the scruffy looking older guy that's been idly watching  the festivities from the minivan two spots away from where I'm parked has just gotten out and is coming toward me. It's broad daylight. I'm parked literally right in front of a security camera. I'm not worried about this guy. It's ME that I don't trust.

I'm hot. I'm tired. I'm cranky, and I'm starting to think that this guy is assuming that I don't know what the hell I"m doing. I've already checked my pockets and realized I have left my benzos at home along with my cell phone. Not that the phone would have done me any good, because the only people I would get in a car with are at least 90 miles away, eastbound on 1-80 or putting up token resistance to my grandmother's suggestion that they all go to the casino. Even though I've only had one asthma attack in a couple of weeks now, I'm gradually convincing myself that not only am I alone and trapped in this parking lot, having a beaut of a panic attack with no way to get home and some random dangler headed my way, it won't really matter because my lungs are going to seize up and kill me momentarily, anyway.

He just asked me if I was okay, I said, "Yeah, I've got it. Thanks, though." And he went back to his minivan to finish waiting for his driver. Over the next 10 minutes and 4 failed attempts to start the car and keep it running, one woman and two more men wandered over, and while I sort of wished they would just ignore me and leave me alone, I realized that I should be glad that even though I was there alone, there were strangers willing to help me if I had let them.

Shutting up now. Thanks for reading.


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