Well ... at 5:30 last night, as I was coming home from work -- and to make it even worse, I was only about a mile and a half from home! -- my car died. I was at a stoplight, and when I took off the car sputtered, then again, as if it were clearing the system of a minor blockage. I couldn't tell specifically, but it kicked just a little. I didn't hear the deafening bang of a back-fire, but I did feel it and heard a bit of a knock. It did this twice in just a short distance. Then, something snapped, the car was coasting, and no amount of gas I applied would make it go. There was a grinding whir as the transmission tried to engage, but ... nothing.
By the time the car stopped, it was at another stoplight, and I thought maybe, just maybe, I can shut it off, restart it and it'll engage. The car is old and temperamental; it does funny things sometimes. I shut it off, waited while the light was red, restarted it and -- nothing. It started fine, I could hear it running smoothly, but any attempt to put it in gear caused a whizzing grind and there was no locomotion.
So now I'm in a rental, and while it's nice to have the added luxuries of AC, rear defrost, brakes that actually stop the vehicle and fully functional systems like turn signals, it's costing me two hours of work everyday. And when the repair facility calls to tell me what the damage is going to be, I'll have to decide whether it's time to bite the bullet and go into debt -- either for a new car, or for a new transmission for the old car.
I was angry last night, now I'm just nervous. We really can't carry a car note right now, not to mention the unlikelihood of someone actually issuing me one. If this job comes to an end at the end of the year, there's no way to know how long I'll be out of work. Stretch that out over five or six years, and you can see how the situation becomes nerve-wracking.
This is also going to mean an end to any and all ideas of going back to school. We simply won't be able to afford it, period.
Life is grand, isn't it?