26 February 2024

A WHOLE LOT of shit has gone down since I last wrote.

First off, Dad didn’t really quit drinking. I admit I wondered, because usually when he quits he dumps it down the sink. He did not do that this time. I got home Friday and the bottle was back on the counter because, after all, there was still booze in it and it had only been resting at the top of the can. Minimal risk. I think that shit kills germs anyway.

Secondly, before that, I had written that last post in the library and then went out to the car and tried to start it and…

one hour later, give or take, FINALLY, it started. I had even tried to reach Carrie after at least half an hour of that, but she told me later she’d been at the casino with her phone turned off.

This was the second time my car had scared me in less than a week. It was the last time.

Yesterday I meant to take Dad to Knights of Columbus to pick up some pork dinners. We got into the car and apparently, the Jennings-to-home run was its last hurrah.

So Dad gets out of the car and… toddles over to Brandon’s next door.

Turns out Brandon is an auto mechanic.

I have been struggling with this fucking car since winter fucking solstice.

It worked out. Brandon found there was a mechanical issue with the starter, which is why it tested OK at Advance Auto because they were only checking the electrical side. I had been really starting to wonder. A whole lot of other things could have been going wrong, but the electrical still seemed so solid. Even with the battery being old, Brandon noted that it holds a charge okay, but advised me that at some point in the near future I should think about replacing it. Not a big deal now. He even knew some guys who would transport my car to his shop for $75(!), because the starter had given up the ghost. I literally drained the battery down trying to start it that last time. As in the clock lost its setting and reverted to 1:00.

Along with replacing the starter, Brandon also got the bad brake light working. We will want to replace both “lenses” (the light fixtures) and probably wiring harnesses because the lenses are warped, the right far worse than the left, but he enlarged the bulb holes for now and it turns out the socket for the right (passenger) brake light still works even if it’s a little crumbly around the edges. We’ll get to that when we can get to that.

I don’t think Brandon charged for labor. I think he just charged for parts and the tow. I know Dad’s done a lot of nice things for him over the years and maybe that’s why. I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. I am just going to give him more work, including labor if he’ll let me, as I need it. I’m sure he won’t object.

Best part? I have now fully passed inspection. So my car is FULLY FUCKING LEGAL. WOOHOO!

Have applied for work again. Carrie’s granddaughter Chloe works at this place and we’ll see how that goes. I never count on these things happening. I have no idea how it will go even if it does happen. All I know is it’ll be a while, if ever, before I’m earning under my own power without dicking up my car. I need something until then.

Carrie says Dad’s giving me $500 soon. He’s said nothing, so I’m not counting on that either. I’ve got enough for my phone bill tomorrow but if this site goes dark in a few days, Dad didn’t give me the money. We’ll just have to see how that goes.

Ironically? I AM earning. It’s not enough to cover my baseline expenses yet. But I am. No one around here knows that because I don’t feel like explaining it. I cannot get simple concepts across verbally without confusing people, so how the hell are they going to get any of this? And with Dad’s hearing problems too. So I just pretend to be a complete bum and get on with things.

(I had that approach with Elizabeth too, which was probably what soured her on me. I don’t feel like having someone tell me all my ideas are shit, okay? It’s not like everyone says it to me, or even most people, but to have the people closest to you shooting you down over EVERYTHING is a real buzzkill. I’m supposed to be supportive of and unquestioning of everyone I know but no one has to back me up. Fuck that. If you’re just gonna shit on me, I’m shutting you out.)

For the record, I need 50 paying subscribers on my Substack to cover my baseline expenses. 75 paying subscribers and I’d have gas and the occasional domain name also covered. It’s going to take time, of course. 150 paying subscribers if I want to transition this into more than a hobby that sometimes pays because I have to account for taxes. I feel very mercenary talking about it this way. It’s more to me than an earning thing. But right now I have to think about money. The only time in my adult life I didn’t think about money a whole lot, I was wasting years on Matt. That ended badly. I have to think about money. You’ll just have to understand.

Okay. I need to git. I wonder if Dad will ask me to take those Knights of Columbus dinners to Kathy. I really should have offered when I took off but I had no idea how this day was going to turn out. Tomorrow for sure if I don’t do it today.