Schmucks of the Universe (Parenthetically Speaking)

Exhibit A: Gonzo spacecrone neckgear

So I’ve been having one of Those Weeks (years, but who’s counting?). Lots of luck but not all of it good. To wit, this week I am in Hudson (good) staying with Grace and Daisy the Dog (good) but still have this cruddy summer cold (bad).

Today I went out for sick-lady supplies and stopped at Salvation Army because the one up here is le bomb (good). In there for two dollars I find this absolutely gonzo gorgeous necklace–like, it looks like decorative weaponry for a space crone superheroine (good). I walk out on cloud 9 but as soon as I turn on my car the CHECK ENGINE light starts flashing and Minerva the Wonder Hyundai starts shaking (bad). God’ll get you for that, Walter, I thought, subbing in “vanity” for “Walter” (Maude reference) and nodding at the Legend (who loved that phrase). I run into the tire store down the road to ask where I should bring my car and instead one of the young fellas working there plugs a diagnostic tool into my car and announces (I shit you not), “Not all your cylinders are firing.” (All hail this metaphor called 2019 Lisa.)

So he tells me to go buy sparkplugs around the corner and that he’ll fix my car when he’s done his J-O-B (good). I fetch the gear, leaf through a detective novel, realize they sold me the wrong gear (bad), go back to exchange it, realize I left my glasses at the shop counter (bad), go back again to find the manager wielding them with a smile (good), and talk to my therapist (I am a New Yorker/hear me whine). When he finishes his shift this kind young person replaces all my sparkplugs and, upon assessing that two coils are also busted, walks us over

Exhibit B: In addition to finding broken sparkplugs and coils beneath my car hood this new friend found a hatched egg. NATURE WINS.

to his buddy’s store where, as many jokes are exchanged and a tiny child dances in a tee shirt reading MY FAVORITE COLOR IS RAINBOW, we get the coils at cost (not retail price, good) and so by now I’ve gotten to know the staff at three autobody stores in Hudson and they’re all lovely dudes, gruff with sweet eyes, like the guys I knew growing up in the Lake. And then, well, he fixed my car. For free. Afterward I got us dinner and now we’re friends. I’m not using his name here because everyone might want him to fix their car for free and I worry he’s so nice he’d do it. But my point and I did have one (to quote mid-career Ellen Degeneris) is that my luck ended up being GOOOD. On the other hand, I’m starting to think: “Luck, schmuck.” As in: This isn’t luck, this is life, and we’re all in it together.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy