Josh (desh) wrote,

What can I say? I fixate a lot. Recently I haven't been able to think about anything other than my car¹, the fact that I don't have a job or any other tangible productive plans beyond the next nine weeks, insurance and its associated expenses and annoyances, and bad timing². And no more than one of those at once. My life is feeling unsettled to quite a frustrating degree right now, but dealing with the list of things I have to deal with is intimidating enough that I mostly shut down and work on none of them. It's quite a problem, really.

So I guess you could say I just had a nice spring break. But wow, it really did not feel like a break.

(1) While driving to Providence on I-95 a week and a half ago, my car hit an icy patch. When I attempted to break, I drifted from the left lane to the right lane, and then spun halfway around before colliding with the guard rail and coming to rest facing backwards in the right shoulder. Fortunately, both me and my passenger were completely unharmed and my car was and is still drivable. However, the vital damage to my car may cost a decent amount to fix, and fixing the cosmetic damage would be totally outside my budget or the car's value. (Pictures soon, if I remember to take them.) The reason this is particularly troublesome relates to my close relationship with my car, a relationship I attempted to explain in a bit of writing I did 13 months ago, which I copy here:
"Well there's a place I remember,
And I've been back several times,
Guess I was looking for something,
I don't know what I expected to find...
They're playing oldies on the radio,
Kick the clutch and shift the gears;
You can drive all night long,
But you can't get there from here." ~TFIA

I don't know why I have such a need for stability in my life. It's probably something I'll work out with a therapist one day. In any case, it's there, and it's a problem.

For a solid 5 years, my mom and I lived in our house in Gulph Mills, my dad lived in his house in Blue Bell, and except for a small time, I went to the same school. I was generally a happy person. Toward the end of those 5 years, I got my first car. (Thanks, Grandpop.) One day, my mom told me that we needed to rent a room in the house. My room. I was to move into the basement. I was really upset for awhile. It had taken me years to get used to this house and my new room, after 13 years of being in the old one. Finally, I accepted it and moved into the basement.

Since then I've gone to two new schools, college. My dad has moved four times. My mom has moved once, and we're just weeks away from the second time. I've moved over a dozen times, if you count going to college and back. And it's more than that. I don't talk to one of my best friends anymore. The other several, they're too busy to talk to me as much as they used to. That's understandable; they're in college, and so am I; I'm a lot busier too.

I find myself looking for a place, or even a person or thing, that I can call home. (Yes, I may be taking my parents for granted. I know that. But I feel like I need more.) I've been looking for anything that can work, even somewhat, even temporary. That's why I stayed in Philly for college, though really the city isn't doing it for me. It's too big, and I'm really a suburban boy anyway. I visit my old high school a lot; it was my home away from home for years, and it makes me feel better every time I even drive by. There's a few friends' houses just a couple blocks from school. They are homes away from homes of a sort, also. But I was never there more than once a week or so. Now I'm never there more than once every month or two, when my friends are home from college or I find myself in the area. And besides, it's just not HOME for me.

And then there's my car. An aging, off-black 1992 Civic. A large white scrape on the right side of the rear bumper, and the left side of the bumper is falling off a bit. There's a small picture of a butterfly in the rear windshield. The right rear door sticks a bit when you try to open it in the winter. And every bit of it is mine. It's the same as it was when I was in high school, or at least any changes there are, we went through them together. It is more mine than anything on Earth. People tell me that I live in the city now, go to college in the city, so I don't need a car anymore. They don't know how wrong they are.

My mom is moving this May, roughly the same time I move home from school. I drove by the new house tonight for the first time. It's in a small alley in a part of Philly I've never been before; a rather isolated area. And my street is barely wide enough to drive down.

I drove around the area a bit. There's nowhere to park.

(2) For some reason I like leaving some things ambiguous, while simultaneously and inexplicably drawing attention to them.

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