Truck

Christ, I’m exhausted.

For the last several days, I’ve been watching eight years of life together disintegrate slowly into boxes and piles as The Ex-Box and the Souvenir get on with the process of packing to move out. No matter how stoic you are (and I’m pretty fucking  stoic, Sunny Jim), there’s a hollow, echoing noise that sounds in your chest when you go to reach for something and find it gone, only to realize it’s been packed in a box to move on as part of another life.

Thank Bob for Amazon. They should have a section designed specifically for men trying to reassemble their lives after a break-up. “All the niggling little shit you’ve forgotten about, but need anyway, in one place!  Oven mitts! Kitchen shears! Paper towel holders!”

 This is a whole specific circle of Hell Dante must have missed. “Here in circle 4.2 are people who need to replace their cutlery drawer organizers because they’ve been dumped.”

On Sunday, Mischief took me away from the chaos on a day trip to Lake Arrowhead. Apart from the fact that California really doesn’t want you anywhere near the actual lake unless you’re a home/boat owner or a member of the fucking yacht club, and our disagreement over the standup comedian she loves that I… didn’t…, it was really nice.

We prowled through the shops, snickered our way through several terrible art galleries (and one very good one), ate the world’s worst excuse for a Belgian waffle ever, and had a generally terrific time. As we drove through around the mountain looking at some of the great old A-frames, she tried to convince me she really did like Corruption.

I don’t buy it.

We stopped at Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse on the way home, and I discovered that the steakhouse of the same name I know from Arizona pre-dates the oldest California restaurant by a decade, and is apparently unaffiliated. I suspect it must have been at some point.

Today has been largely dedicated to chores, arranging the pickup of various pieces of furniture from myriad locations around the Valley, and going to pick up more furniture from CraigsList. After carrying a fullsize sofabed/couch solo on my back to get it to the truck, I’m a wee bit knackered.

Hopefully, tomorrow, I will be able to find a, eye of quiet in the ongoing hurricane to appease the monkey which clings eternally to my back and edit.

I grew up white trash. In fact, I come from a long, distinguished line of white trash. My childhood and teen years were surrounded with desert, a house that was built onto a double-wide (with the wheels left on under the house, that way property taxes were dirt cheap), and lots and lots of rusting cars in various states of disrepair.

I worked in my grandfather’s garage on and off for years. Working on cars isn’t fun for me; it’s a chore. I never aspired to own more than one vehicle.

When I got my directing contract after Corruption won its awards, I thought I had finally achieved one of my long-standing goals. I wouldn’t have to haul gear to set anymore. I bought a 350z, partly as a reward, and partly because it has a tiny, tiny trunk.

“Hey, Bryn, can you take the cameras home with you?”

“No,” I would say honestly, indicating the little convertible. “I can’t.”

And then I would drive home, beaming.

Then the contract fell apart, and my primary workload shifted to shooting camera and lighting. MY cameras and MY lights. All I do now is haul gear.

About a month ago, I decided I need a permanent vehicle for this purpose. I found a great Chevy step van (think FedEX truck) for $2k, and bought it. It ran great, has space, racks, etc. A perfect mini grip & electric truck. Almost immediately, my friend Hollywood asked if her could rent it for a low-budget horror movie he was gaffing.

I agreed, at first thinking I would get a little cash out of it. Then, I asked him instead to simply get some repairs done and we would call it even. Fix the broken turn signals. Replace the missing gas pedal. Niggly shit that I just didn’t want to deal with.

I should have known better. Hollywood is my people. We don’t “fix” anything. We just get it working. Half-assed isn’t our slogan, it’s our religion. This is one of the reasons why I’m so frigging OCD; my constant battle against my white trash urge to make do.

Long story short, as I write this I’m sitting at a location in North Hollywood, waiting to have the truck towed because the “mechanic” Hollywood describes as the “Redneck MacGuyver” fucked up the electrical system when he put in the supplemental turn signal unit, and now, the truck won’t start.

Hollywood had a different mechanic come to my place to fix this problem last week. The truck started no problem this morning. Of course, that was then. Whichever wire or harness I cannot find from the starter has now once again vibrated loose, and here I sit.

The tow should be about $250. Getting the problem actually repaired, oh, $350? So I’ve nearly worked for free today.

I’m angry. At myself. I know better than to let certain people do certain things. I cannot seem to absorb the parable of the frog and the scorpion, no matter how hard I try. You do not ask a leopard to change his spots. You do not believe a scorpion will not sting. And you do not allow a redneck to repair something and expect it to stay fixed.

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