My last link to Riverside is broken along with my car’s transmission.

So it was on a mild Friday morning last week when I started my car and tried to back out of the parking spot in an Old Town lot.  The moment I realized my car was not moving despite being in reverse I knew it was the end.  I tried to tell myself that it was something minor, and my mechanic would call with news to confirm my optimism.  As my car was towed to the auto shop, I started the process of planning for all contingencies.  The rest of day was spent holding out hope for good news.  At 4 p.m. that fateful Friday I was given the news that my car’s transmission was busted.  I had no idea that my car was about to stop running.  I had not detected any signs that I was so close to a catastrophic failure.  The moment was so subdued with a simple start of the car, and no movement when I put her in gear.  When the mechanic quoted me several price options, I sank to the realization that repairing my car was so far out of any budget I could scheme up.  My time with my car was at an end.


I quickly recalled a blog post by my fellow Blogger Richard Marks over at Samoa Softball about many of us who do not have a pot to piss in.  Just like in his brief post, I have hit a catastrophe in my life.  I am confident that I will have another car very soon, but the pleasures of my life will have to be compromised in order to feed another bank a bushel of car loan payments.  I guess spending my money at local businesses will have to be sacrificed in order to feed the 1%.  What a drag…


On another plane of thought… as soon as I handed the pink slip over to the mechanic in exchange for my outstanding labor bill, it was also the end of another connection.  Back in the spring of 2006, I had relocated to Riverside, CA.  I have used many blog entries to document and dissect that experiment in my life.  In the middle of starting a new relationship, integrating into a new community, and finding a new job another transmission was getting ready to call it a life.  My then vehicle was a red Chevy S-10 pick-up truck.  I loved that truck.  It was not going to be a fun truck to drive in Riverside in the Summer for it had no air conditioning.  I had driven it to over 200,000 miles, and never once tried to be consistent with the routine maintenance.  I over looked the transmission, and at 213, 000 miles, the grinding and gnawing of gears at least gave me the heads up that bad days were ahead.


By the time I had to dump my truck, I was in very poor shape financially.  I was barely making enough money to keep up on my share of the living costs with my then live-in girlfriend.  The jobs I got down there were paying much less than I make up here, and how weird is that?  Anyway, I found a local Chevy dealer who took pity on me, and my truck of my hands in exchange for no money down.  I drove off in a 2003 Ford Taurus with 33,000 miles, and air conditioning.  I bought that car in May of 2006, and three months later I would have that car packed with my belongings as I headed back to Humboldt County.


When I moved back up here I had to re-integrate into my old job, and rekindle old ties to the North Coast.  I also had to purge myself of the Southern California experience.  I had to wait nearly two years to be rid of the cell phone contract I had to take down there because the carrier I have up here was not available there.  It took some time, but eventually I was able to let go of most of the material things that I felt connected me to those five months of my life I spent in Riverside.  Of course there will music, movies, and memories that will always be with me, but the physical items have been passed along or simply discarded.  I guess that is as close as I can come to pretending that episode of my life did not happen.


As I cleaned all of my belongings out of the Taurus it occurred to me that the biggest piece of my Riverside connection was about to pass on.  It is not what I planned to have happen, and especially not like this, but now I will be completely severed from material reminders of that part of my life.  Perhaps any healing I still need will happen now as I drive another vehicle.


A vehicle bought locally under the same circumstances which put me in the Taurus five years ago.




7 thoughts on “My last link to Riverside is broken along with my car’s transmission.

  1. An end to one era and the beginning of another. May the memories you make in your new car be even better.

    BTW…..take the windows with your decals on them!

  2. Man I was so surprised to hear this…my brother and his wife both had the same thing happen with their cars recently (newer models, low miles – but still fubarred). Godspeed with getting a new vehicle. I pray every time I drive my poor little Toyota…its just barely hanging on and I just hope it lasts a few more months until I can get something more reliable.

    Or maybe I just need to marry a rich girl. That’s what my Grandfather advised (and that’s what he did himself, the wicked scamp). 🙂

  3. Sorry Bratty, that sounds a little too much like inbreeding or something. ^_^

    Besides, if I do meet a rich girl, she needs to be an only child so I can *ahem* I mean *we* can inherit all of her family fortune. We don’t need no steenkin’ brothers trying to steal my…*ahem* our rightly earned money!

    And aren’t you seeing a ‘lobstah’ fisherman or something? 🙂

  4. Italiano!!!! You should share the “wealth”! Think of the fun we could have if we were related by marriage. Ohhhh….After we, “I mean they” inherit the family fortune, we can….never mind…that would be just wrong. Well inless it was ya know….a quick and painless passing…Then maybe….hummmm…Either way that would be just wrong.

    The “lobstah” dude…sadly… is not working out. He is always off on his boat. I never see him. I was hoping he would get a reality show for risking his life catching lobstahs…but it has not happened yet.

  5. I feel sorry for people who aren’t mechanics. Three hundred dollars worth of transmission parts, some rubber gloves, and a little labor would give you a transmission with all new soft parts. And, about another 150,0000 miles. The sad thing about being a mechanic is that you never get to buy a new car…

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