Livid, alone, in the dark
December 19, 2008
After another patted shoulder “don’t worry,” I literally bite my tongue. It’s the only way not to completely lose my good traditional training of not talking back to my elders. Or in this case, “raving at elder.”
Why, on the eve of a very important, very early, phone interview was I up, running outside barefoot over an hour before scheduled alarm? Hi, it’s still me here, still the girl who gets up only ten minutes before departure. That’d be because I woke to the sound of an unscheduled alarm. The car alarm.
I would have ignored it; I usually do as sleep is precious beyond words. Something stirred me to go see this time, though, to possibly do our neighbors the courtesy of silencing an errant alarm. What I saw, peeking out the blinds, however, was no errancy except that of a flurry of indistinguishable human activity. Startled, I raced outside barefoot to watch the family sedan driving away backwards. Towed.
Are there even words for the sheer fury that swamped me? I woke my dad hoping it was a mistake. Suspecting that it was not.
He hasn’t been able to keep up with the payments lately. What an innocent sounding statement until combined with the towed car.
I am positively furious and humiliated. Above all, betrayed. It wasn’t more than a month ago that I’d told him our communication was poor. I couldn’t trust their judgement and sensibility. He seemed surprised, he protested my characterization.
Well, surprise! I can’t.
This wasn’t a sudden, unexpected thing. (At least not for him.) This is what happens when you don’t pay, pay in time, and keep paying on time.
So what now? We’re down to my car. That’s it. It’s Friday morning, if I don’t throw cash at the situation, who knows how much, we’ll have to share my car for the weekend and I have a very full weekend. Heck, who knows, if I’ll have enough? Tow truck fees, plus whatever else. I don’t know. All I know is I’m losing more precious sleep because he can’t take care of business, can’t learn to tell me before something is about to become an exponentially larger pain in my ass so we can alleviate the situation. No, because “I can’t keep running to you.” No? But you think it’s right to wait until it’s a disaster before telling me that there are dark clouds in the sky?
Edit: Above written at 4 am.
Update: It turns out he’s over a thousand dollars behind. Deep breath.
It’s not that I can’t shake the money loose from somewhere. It’s that I have to because he won’t learn. That I have to tell my own dad that this is why I have trust issues, why I don’t think we have good communication, why I have to be anxious. That I told him months ago that my work situation was B.A.D. and last night that we’re all going to be laid off. That, in this lousy situation, he thinks it’s better to hide this situation and let it go into arrears!
“Why Mom is slowly losing her mind,” a part of my mind whispers disloyally, quietly, “this is why she’s losing her grip on reality. Living with him and letting him ‘handle it’ is, for her, to expect failure and disappointment. If it weren’t for me, would they be on the street in a matter of months? Weeks? How long would it be?”
It’s going to cost at least $1300 just to catch up on the payments. They’re waiting for a manager to review the file on Monday before they release information on how to get the car, according to him. That’s unacceptable but I’m stuck at work now and can’t follow up on my own.
I’m so mad I could spit.
And after this bailout, then what? Do I scrape up the cash to pay off *yet another* car since he obviously can’t afford this monthly payment? Call in my personal loans to free up cash and pay off all possible debts that I’m aware of? Create a blank slate for him while I try to support two households? If I don’t, he’s going to keep on trying to make two ends that are too short meet without telling me when he’s run into a rough patch, until we incur extra stupid fees. If I do, will he learn? Or will this just happen again?
Job hunting wasn’t challenging enough?