Of course, I’d barely slept the night before worrying about the car wobbling and had, in fact, had the tires “weighted” and “balanced” (whatever the hell that means) at the Madison Firestone, and while we the car was no longer doing a violent shimmy shimmy, it was still on Parkinson’s watch in that crucial 45 to 60 mph zone.
Truth is, I love cars, love driving, love being on a highway, and love when the
And, er, that bastard GPS decided that it was Iowa-friendly and actually guided me beautifully, with ETA and maps and where to fill up, all the way to M’s parents’ house.
There, I managed to get about an hour’s worth of sleep before the reading. It was a wet and foggy night and M’s mom and dad drove me to Prairie Lights in
One of the real pleasures of reading at Prairie Lights this time was the introduction I got from Roberto Ampuero, whom I’d met last summer in
In other words, he’s a very, very big deal. And hearing him talk about how much he loved Ruins, and how powerfully it evoked
After the reading, M’s family and Allison and I retired literally next door for a celebratory round of white Russians and a couple of beers. And then we went home, where I crashed so hard it felt like I’d hurled down a long black elevator shaft in a 12 story building.
The next morning, resting in Cedar Rapidian splendor, I vaguely heard the phone, like an echo in a very vast valley. I finally climbed downstairs – M’s parents were long gone to work – and found a delicious bag of chocolate chip cookies and a small black piece of what turned out to be my car.
I really couldn’t face the awful reality of it so I sipped some coffee, checked my email, puttered, and finally surrendered to the voicemail and the evidence on the back of my PT Cruiser: M’s dad, perhaps sleepy from what was for him a late night (I did consider the possibility of displaced anger … ), had banged into my car. It was a rather small area but he did manage to hurt three different parts: the tail light, the bumper and the back fender.
On the way home, the GPS worked great (I also had M’s mom’s GPS as backup), the wobbliness was fairly contained, nothing fell off the car, and, now, the challenge is before me for this week: to rush repair or rent for the rest of the tour?
I’m mulling, I’m mulling.