There was a plan. Two of them. Neither worked out.
First was I heard from a dear friend whom I have not seen in years. She would be in Austin and San Antonio on business this past Thurs and Friday. The only way we could connect was to meet at the Austin airport Friday afternoon. OK. I had her cell number but alas alack it was in my FB messages.
Second was this. Read slowly for I will type fast. I had my six month regular set of appointments at M.D Anderson scheduled for Thursday and Friday mornings. EARLY. My husband I and are accustomed to these schedules and we worked it out so he could work his favorite gig (Donn’s Depot Wednesday night).
The plan was he would drive after the gig, leaving Austin around 1:30 and we’d arrive at our friend’s home around 4:30. He’d sleep in on Thursday morning because he didn’t need to go that day. I’d manage on my own with CT scan and blood work and such. Friday he’d get up early and go to the hospital with me for the EDG. . .which required anesthesia so some one had to sign me out.
That was the plan. So we were driving down RT 71, familiar route, and a mile west of the intersection of RT 21, the Caravan makes that ‘blown tire noise’. . .you know the one. Except the tire was shredded. Charlie called AAA. They were to call back. Oh the stars were beautiful as we where somewhere that looks a lot like nowhere.
We were of mixed emotions. I was gnashing my teeth some as I wanted to get these tests done. After twenty minutes go by I ask him to call again. A different person responds with, “The local people won’t come change a tire at this time of night.” My husband is a patient man and accepts this answer, they are working on finding another company who will come. AAA will call us back!
A sheriff’s car comes up behind us, asks a few questions, asks us to move the car further off the road and then goes away.
A stranger pulls up just after the Sheriff in a beat up car but I am not judging a man by his car for ours is 13 years old with 206K miles. But it’s 2:45 AM and I am leery of this and grateful I am not alone. He’s helpful in attitude not in deed. Off he goes!
I am working really hard on not being pissy. I am finding the stars wonderful and there is this lovely scent in the air from some plant growing on the side of the road. I am thinking my sister will love the stars in this area when she moves here. I am thinking every pleasant though I can but beneath these thoughts are: “Charlie needs to call them again! I worked out this schedule so it works.” Sitting in the passenger seat, my darling husband comes to the window and I say something snarky and pause, he said something and I said something, he paused. . .to which I said, “You’re supposed to have something funny right now” And he said: “I was trying to think of something intelligent AND funny.” To which I replied, “Well you’re not good at that!” Peals of laughter. Release of tension.
“Why don’t we just try to change it?” and he gets out his lug-nut-remover-tool and those nuts ain’t going anywhere. . .so he calls AAA. And as he is talking to them, he looks under the car for the spare, “My spare is gone!” He says to the phone and to himself. . .”It’s not there.” And his face was so dumbfounded. . .you have to understand, he’s always ready for emergencies. . .his car is an extension of himself to some degree. A third time, still looking at where the spare should be, “I HAVE NO SPARE!”. I start sniffling and coughing.
I have been enjoying the scent and now I am discovering whatever it is, I am allergic. I am coughing and snufffling. He calls our friend at this point, some time after 3:00 AM. I dig in my purse for my asthma inhaler, and any kind of antihistamine. . .took them. Took my Clonopin which I should have earlier. . .the weazing eases up. We are still on the side of the road and it’s coming up to 4:00 AM. I am stupid tired. I am tired and stupid. I am frustrated beyond words.
And then the sheriff’s care comes back around, different guy, asks for Charlie’s license and the Tow Truck arrives! It is 4:15. He says, “He giving you a hard time?” and we say no, just doing his job. . .the car gets attached to the tow truck and we are headed back to Austin. We are going home. In the cab small talk ensues.
This and that. That and this. . .but what it comes around to is he is from Rhode Island! He’s been in Texas seven years. Then I say my family comes from Fall River, MA. . .as does his. The world just shrunk a little. He says, his name is Machado. . .I say, Steven Machado. . .he says, ‘That’s my cousin.’ It’s five in the friggin’ morning, and his cousin and I went to high school together. WHAT! There was other chit-chat about television shows (He’s a Firefly fan!) and then we’re home.
I go in the house, try to reach MD Anderson to leave messages to no avail. I send a message via computer. . .drink warm milk, I got chilled in the wait. Went to bed at slept until ten.
I did get to do part of my tests on Thursday afternoon, which allowed me to get the invasive, important exam done on Friday.
And I didn’t call my friend Jennifer who now understands why!