It’s a hot summer day, 91 degrees to be exact and I’m finally off work. Yesterday, was a doozy I let my battery die and I had to get a jump – luckily it died hours before the end of my shift and I was able to reach out to someone in my office to have them lend me a hand. Today’s problem wouldn’t be so simple – in fact I’d be hot and bothered before I entered my therapist office. Lucky me again, I had some self-reflecting that I needed to start on so the summer breeze with the windows down seemed to be the thing I needed more than having a cool car.
Yep! You guessed it; my air went out in my car and after that session I’m not sure if the air would’ve been enough anyway.
I felt closed in and defeated, irritated and bothered and I wanted nothing more than to get home to take a hot shower. I knew my home would be cool because unlike my car the air in my home had never given me any problems. As lovely, as the thought of cool air and a refreshing shower sounded I wanted to see if I could fix this temporary problem. See, the heating and air have been messed up for almost two years now. There happens to be this little red wire; nothing special about it except it likes to cause me problems.
A couple of years ago my heat went out in the winter and my boyfriend at the time swore that he’d get it fixed and lucky for me he did. The issue is that a few short weeks later it broke again and now I was left questioning what he’d done and how it caused even more damage than before. I huffed and puffed and almost blew a house down because he’d ensured that he’d take it to get fixed and instead he fixed it himself. The issue was not that he’d fixed it himself, I was fine with that — it’d save money from both of our pockets. It was the dishonesty of telling me that he’d taken to get it fixed when he’d actually done the work himself. We were faced with a dilemma of having to come out of hundreds of dollars right before Christmas time and that definitely was not ideal but the gentleman that he was insisted that he’d make sure his lady was riding around in warmth and not in the cold.
He managed to get it fixed and I finished the winter out in style with a heated car and a warmed heart. In fact, it made me think of when I was a child and how I didn’t always have things fixed when I made a fuss. After all, I grew up in a middle-class family and we drove a old station wagon that had heat that barely came out. We lived in a big house that didn’t have centralized heating but we never complained about being cold. I remember being a young girl facing a winter storm that knocked out the power and shifted us to a hotel however as soon as we returned home we went out in freezing temperatures and built an igloo in our backyard. The beauty of being a child is that you don’t think of all the things you need to fix you just enjoy life for what it is.
This began in November and before I knew it months passed and my heat went out again. Unlike when I was a child, as an adult I’d complain when I was cold — in fact I was always cold and I’d shake like chicken when you dusted the flour off. I gave him a bit more than a piece of mind and requested to know where he’d taken the car after all. Turns out when he took the car to get fixed — he fixed a portion of the problem himself… again! My issue was that since he fixed a portion of it himself the shop advised that they were not responsible for fixing it a few months later so again we’d have to pay the four-hundred dollars. No issue with saving money but now we’d have to come out of that money twice and that just wasn’t happening. It wasn’t in the plan and it certainly wasn’t in the budget. Frustrated and flustered he was caught in a lie and switched me cars until he was able to figure out how he could fix it well enough for me to drive.
One little red wire. One little yellow tube. One set of pliers.
For the last two years the problem has been fixed; worked for months and then needs fixing again. I keep temporarily fixing it instead of replacing the entire system because it’s not the system that’s broke – it’s one little cord that requires a bit more attention. Honestly, I was fine with temporarily fixing it because all it took was little bit of work in an uncomfortable position. Yesterday was different. Yesterday, I was this close to making the money appear out of no where because there was no way I was going to make it the rest of the summer without my air being fixed.
I decided on going to my local car maintenance store. As I soaked in their air I explained to the clerk my issue at hand and that I was attempting to save myself a few hundred dollars by simply fixing it myself just as I’d been doing. He said he knew what could bring my wire together and it would be safer than the electrical tape I’d been using.
One little red wire. One little yellow tube. One set of pliers.
Electrical tape? Over the course of the last year the yellow tube either fell off or I took it off because it was no longer working. I can’t quite remember but I know that my mom suggested using electrical tape because it was safe on wires. The tape was like a bandaid. It would stay in place until something rubbed against it or the moisture in the air would make it fall off. Forget about the speed bumps it was the potholes that always found a way to shake the wires up.
“Much like the speed bumps and potholes you find on city streets this was an up and down battle of keeping something connected that had long ago fallen apart.”
Back at the store I convinced the clerk to not only assist me in finding the correct tube but to allow me to use his clampers — a tool that you can use to smash the tube around the wires. By the end of the search he’d found a box of assorted tubes to ensure I was able to find a size that would fit the wire. He rang me up and insisted that he do it himself because he doesn’t just allow people to use his tools. I had no quarrel with not laying in the awkward position that fixing it required so I allowed him to do until about his tenth try.
He was a muscular man and the size of his arms caused him to rub against one end of the tube as soon as he would get the other side adjusted. Time and time again the wire slipped out of the yellow tube and he kept on trying until I insisted that he let me give it a try. We switched places and after about the fifth try I was successful in getting the wires in the tube. I smashed the tube down with the clampers and stood as I stretched out that awkward position. It was show time and for some reason after all of that work the air still wasn’t working so I bent down again and lifted one of the wires. Like the gentleman that helped me out the wires required a certain amount of room and the way they were pulled didn’t allow for that so I had to adjust them. After a tug here and a tug there it blew out cool and I walked the tools back to the clerk hoping that everything would be good for a while.
Driving home I was no longer hot and flustered instead I drove with a smile that stretched from ear to ear as I enjoyed the cool air coming from my car. I arrived at home and planned to relax as I allowed my dog to go to outside for her bathroom break as I sat and decided on plans for the night. After she was all played out I scooped her poop and went to toss it in the trash when I seen my brother sitting in front of my house. He informed me that he was about to go pick my cousin up so they could go out for his birthday and suggested I follow him to the next destination. Seeing as I hadn’t come up with any plans while tossing toys back and forth to Baby Jay I decided I would join them. As soon as I hopped in my car I noticed that the air wanted to hadn’t kicked in which meant it was messed up, yet again.
I sat at my house for another ten minutes shifting and adjusting the wires as the air came on and off until I had the idea to pen the wire up. As I drove I thought about how jacked up it was that I had to keep applying temporary fixes because nothing I tried worked long enough. My mind raced with a slew of temporary fixes I’d applied in my life. Relationships that I knew were doomed, jobs I knew weren’t for me, activities that I didn’t want to be involved with.
“I’d applied a lot of temporary fixes but as we’ve seen with this story temporary fixes don’t last a while.”
They last briefly, shortly, but they never last long. In this moment of reflection it dawned on me that I was lucky that I was able to apply temporary fixes because some people can’t apply any at all. The relationship never worked, the job never hired you, the activities were never presented to you. You must possess the knowledge to know that some things require fixing, some require mending, and some require never starting. The beauty of life is that when you can’t decide what to do today you still have tomorrow.