After filling up and getting a car wash and putting air in the tires (and standing back and admiring its pleasant cosmetic condition), I pulled out of the gas station and onto the highway. I was smoothly rolling along at cruising speed listening to dance music, and everything was just great.
Then the battery light came on.
Then the power steering went.
Okay, I can drive home without power steering, that’s not a problem. But damn.
I only had about half a minute to get used to this when the dashboard panel started beeping and screaming at me, with the unmistakable message, “ENGINE HOT… IDLE NOW.” Sure enough, the temperature indicator had jumped up to hot. Well, I thought, maybe it’s the computer or maybe the sensors are just acting up. So I was looking for a place to safely pull over (not easy on an urban freeway with a jersey barrier when said freeway happens to be cut into a rocky bluff), and before I was even stopped the message changed to an insistent “ENGINE HOT… STOP NOW.” Alright, alright.
I called home to see what should be done about this, and it was said that I should call the auto club for a tow to the garage. I half-wondered if I could just drive it home, but it wasn’t recommended, because if the engine was running hot it could crack and become junk (and then the car would be toast).
The tow truck came in a flash (not even five minutes after I got off my cell with the auto club rep – the driver was on his way to a call in Prospect but decided to get me first because I was a short haul and on his way), and before too long we were in a Canadian Tire parking lot after midnight. “Darn, they’re closed,” I jested. After we got the car back down, we popped the hood and looked at the engine. Ah! The belt that connects the crankshaft with the power steering, water pump, alternator, etc. had flown off those pulleys and was laying beside the engine. “That’s almost a new belt,” Lubin the tow truck driver commented, “but it looks like this tension wheel is a little loose and it shouldn’t be loose at all.”
Mom picked me up and just before we got off the highway again, Catherine returned my call from earlier in the night. We talked for about 90 minutes. She’s had a few hard decisions thrust upon her as of late, so send love. It was really refreshing to speak with her. Naturally, she reiterated some pertinent advice that I am now determined to follow. There’s no reason I need to see or have anything to do with the source of this consternation for the foreseeable future, and therefore I’m going to do the healthy thing and steer clear. On another note, it was really nice to see Jessica at her party. She’s doing really well; she even has a job at a daycare facility in Dartmouth. She changed her hair, and it’s even more striking than before. This reminds me, I think I left my coat at her house! I’d better post this and call her…
As you might have guessed, I’m at the library waiting for the garage to let me know that the car is fixed. It needs a new water pump and a few other things. Thank goodness I’m not footing this particular bill, because it’s nearly as costly as my textbooks (What’s wrong with this picture?).
And maybe after lunch I can get some sleep, or else I’m going to be useless on my outing with K. today. Wish me luck.