So first my tire goes flat on Siringo Road. I’m on my way, with the kids, to Claire’s birthday party. We’re late, because Honoree’s Waldorf teacher came by at the same time as the (pool) party started. We are really wanting to get there, since we’re already an hour and a half late. Hope it’s not one of those 2-hour parties with a “here’s your goodie bag, what’s your hurry?” vibe. Nah, Claire’s parents are supremely cool.
Tire blows. “Mom, our car sounds like a choo choo train!” I wonder where I should pull over. What’s safe? What are my choices? Turn here, into a neighborhood? Or…and no, I don’t have AAA (I didn’t on Saturday. Laura heroically added me to hers a few hours later). I pull into an entrance of the gigantic Santa Fe High School property.
Okay, I can change a tire. I’ve watched every time I have a flat tire and someone helpful comes along before I can figure it out. I used to just call Peter when we were married…and I still could, because we’re amicable like that, but he’s in an all-day meditation thing. I open up my manual and get out the tire-changing tool kit. I have a nice, burly spare. Not a doughnut. I can do this. The first bit of instruction asks me to take out some kind of hubcap remover that looks like a long twirly wire. That is not in my pouch. The last time I got tires (at the VW dealership’s shop), they must have neglected to put it back. &O#$O#O#%&&!!! That’s when I start to cry. Which freaks out the kids. “But how can we get to the party?” Honoree wails. “I don’t know if we will get there before it’s over…” More noisy dismay ensues…where’s the Calgon? Or, forget the Calgon, order me a whiskey sour, to be sunk after this is all over and I can partake.
I call Laura…she suggests that I call friends with VWs because they probably have the tool. That is a very good idea, but involves calling two people who I haven’s spoken with in MONTHS. “Hi! I’m in a crisis and you should drop everything and help me because I’ve been so incredibly present in your life over the last few months…yeah…that’d be grrrreat.”
I suck it up and do it. G. isn’t home, J. looks in her car’s trunk and doesn’t have a kit. Hmm. Glad I didn’t get a bug. As J. rattles around in her trunk, a white van pulls up with a Santa Fe High School insignia on the side and a dude jumps out. He looks like a slimmer Yosemite Sam. Before I even get off the phone, he’s crouched next to my tire. Hi, angel!
So, this extremely nice stranger has taken it upon himself to solve my horribly upsetting problem, and I am FINE with that. He has a van filled with tools. Tools that can fix this missing tool problem. It takes him about six Allen wrenches, but he gets that trashed tire off, and pops on my new one. “I don’t know how to thank you,” I said. “You’re a lifesaver.” He is completely humble about it…all in a day’s work kind of shrug…
Honoree calls me over. She hands me a note. “Give this to him,” she whispers. “Because you said you didn’t know how to thank him.” On a little piece of paper, she wrote [sic], “Think You. I love you.”
“And give him this, too,” she said, and handed me a little blue crystal.
“Okay,” I said.
“Thank you so much, I’m Candace,” I said, offering my hand for a handshake.
“I’m dirty,” he said, laughing.
“So am I,” I said, and we shook anyway. “I’m David, I work on call for the Santa Fe school district,” he said.
“Well, you really helped us out…I’m so grateful. Here’s a note my daughter wrote you, it says, ‘Thank you, I love you.’”
“I love you too, sweetheart!” he called out.
So we got in the car and drove to the party. It was still going on, and there was one beer left, which so had my name on it. The kids got into the pool, I got to catch up with my friend Ro, and all was well.
Thank you, universe!
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