The Butterfly Effect. Part 3. VICTIM HERE!!
This is a continuation of an ongoing blog. To read it from the beginning, please read The Butterfly Effect Parts 1 & 2.
“Hello?” I said into the phone.
“Hey Stacy, it’s Frank. How are you?”
“I’m good. How are you? Di…Did my insurance get a hold of you?”
“Yes, thanks. They’re taking care of everything.”
“Good,” I said.
“So, uh, I was wondering if you weren’t doing anything on Friday if maybe you wanted to go out and do something.” Oh my God he’s asking me out on a date! First a fake DEA agent and now a cop. Why does this kind of shit always happen to me? Okay Stacy think. If you turn him down he could turn you in for not reporting the accident. But if he turns YOU in you could file a report against him for sexual harassment. Just breathe and do what you know is the right thing here.
“I’m sorry Frank but I have a boyfriend. But thanks for asking.”
“Oh, okay. I’m sorry.”
“No. No it’s all good really.” Jail time. Jail time. Jail time. “Don’t even worry about it.”
“Okay well… You have a good day then.”
“Yeah, you too. I hope your car gets back into…tip top shape.” I hope your car gets back into tip top shape?” Who am I, the Richard Simmons of automobiles? Click. I looked over at my roommates who were all staring at me, as one of them was handing me a two foot glass bong. I told them, “I was just asked out by a cop.”
The fact that my car was totaled, and I was in my last semester at San Diego State, the timing of it all couldn’t have been worse. This was my usual schedule with variations from time to time: 7:00 am class (Yes, 7:00 a.m.), straight through until 11:00 a.m. Then I worked from 12:00 p.m. until my shift ended at 5:00 p.m. I would close up, change, grab some food, and bolt back to school and could usually make rehearsal by 7:00 p.m. Rehearsal lasted until 11:00 p.m. and then I would get to go home and sleep until 5:45 a.m. the next morning so I could do it all over again. When did I study, you ask? Whenever I could. Weekends, late nights and sometimes during rehearsals when it wasn’t my turn on stage. When did you sleep? Same answer. I slept in my car. I slept on the grass outside of the theater building. I even crawled under some stairs once in the main theater lobby and slept between two big rolls of carpeting that the theater department stored there. The only reason I woke up was because I heard the stage manager yelling, “Has anyone seen Helena?” That was my character’s name in our production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “I’m here! I’m here!” came my muffled voice from beneath the stairwell.
With my schedule being what it was, it was impossible to bum rides so I was left with the next best option. Borrow cars. It seemed innocent enough at first. I started with my roommate Kim’s car. She had a lovely little compact car that got good gas mileage and she and my other roommates had similar schedules so they could ride together. Driving other cars should be fun, I thought.
It wasn’t. The first night that I drove Kim’s car to rehearsal I got off at 11:00 p.m. to find that I had somehow left the interior light on and killed the battery. Nice. Cell phones were not yet invented so I got to call AAA from a payphone back on campus. Nothing like being a young woman alone on campus walking by herself at 11:30 at night. I might as well have just dosed myself with roofies and vodka and yelled, “VICTIM HERE! VICTIM HERE!” When I got a hold of Triple A, they got all tricky with their directions.
“Ma’am, is your car on the West side of the parking lot or on the East side of the parking lot?’
“Fuck if I know,” I replied. “Just make a right when you turn in the parking lot.” Why is everything always so difficult?
Somehow, the driver was able to locate me and recharge my battery. As soon as the driver left, I noticed that I needed gas. Wonderful. The last thing AAA wanted was another phone call from me in the same night, so I filled up and headed back to the beach.
One by one I proceeded to borrow all my roommates’ cars. While I tried to rotate as much as possible, I think I wore my welcome thin. One night I came home to find all three of them talking amongst themselves at the dining room table, and as soon as I walked in they got really quiet. Shhh, between you and me. I think they may have been talking about me borrowing their cars because they stopped talking and looked really, really annoyed. But don’t tell them I said that. Let them read it for themselves.
At this point I was pretty confident the roommates were off limits. But it had been almost a month without my car and it didn’t look like I was going to be getting it back anytime soon, so I was going to have to turn to my male friends to save my hide. Next up to become an unwilling victim of the Butterfly Effect was Ian. Beautiful, wonderful, Ian. You really couldn’t find a guy nicer than Ian. And poor Ian let me use his truck. I liked his truck. It was nice and boy, did he have a nice CD collection. Had a nice CD collection. Until he leant his truck to me and I came out of my morning classes to find the window broken and all the CD’s stolen. Poor, poor Ian.
Okay, so friends were out. I needed to inflict my bad luck on someone else. Someone I didn’t know that well. Someone I worked with. So I borrowed a car from a beautiful waitress I worked with who had a 1966 Volvo 122S wagon. Puuuuurrrrfet. I LOVE old cars. This was going to rock and I only had to pay her $50 a week for it.
AFTER I acquired the car and it had been on the road a couple of days my friend let me know that I should be careful of cops because it wasn’t registered and it’s tags weren’t up to date. Thank you so much. Information I could have used a couple of days ago. Oh yeah, and it’s also an uninsured vehicle. I just stood there staring at her trying to take all the new information in all the while thinking, wow I must have been Attila The Hun in a past life or something. What did I do to deserve all this shit? But my day wasn’t done and I still had to get to rehearsal so I was going to have to keep the car and take my chances.
Rehearsal went well and I was pleased to see the Volvo was still alive and well when I got out at 11:00 that night. I then put the key in the door to unlock the car and that’s when the key broke off in the door. Of course it did. I stood there for a while because I wanted to scream but it just wasn’t coming out. My mouth was open and ready but there was no sound.
I walked back across the campus at night. Woman, roofie, victim.
“East or west side of the parking lot?”
“I don’t fucking know!!! Turn right. This time I broke the key off in the door and it also happens to be the same key that starts the car.”
So AAA arrives and this little karmic treat takes about an hour to correct and at this point I’m considering if I should drive my ass all the way back to the beach at all or just sleep in the car.
I did finally get my car back only to turn it back in the same day because it was making some rolling sounds in the roof which it wasn’t making before the accident. Come to find out they were just some loose screws. Hopefully they didn’t need those to hold the body together. I would hate to imagine myself driving down the street with various parts of my car falling off onto the highway. But seriously at this point, would it have really mattered?
Despite all of the above, I passed all of my classes (with flying colors), retained almost all of my friendships, and got some really positive reviews, and one bad one (hey, you can’t win them all) for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I even got an invitation to audition for the Old Globe Theater in San Diego. Left turn, right turn, stop, go. Every step of the way led me to where I am right now. Now, if I could only retrace my steps to find out how I ended up in Texas. Sometimes I hate Butterflies.
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