LAAFF and she walked through the whole thing as N and I pushed the empty wheelchair along through the crowds like performance artists with the world's saddest imaginary friend. She flat refused to sit in it, saying it would make her feel like a cripple and then, anyway, we eventually made it to an enviable corner table at Old Europe, where we sat for hours racking up a legendary bar tab and watching the festival flow around us. For all that I'm a bit shell shocked and apparently permanently hungover, it was actually pretty nice. There were stilt girls and zombies and all my friends stopped by to sit and have a drink or two with us, which was why we couldn't leave. The QOB had a great time and said that after the while she had spent sitting by the drum circle (we had previously parked her a couple of times, once on the mulch by Broadways and once by Heiwa) she couldn't hear anything anyway, so the punk band of drums and bass was great. I liked them and we all liked watching the street guy get down and funky like a Chippendales dancer fallen from grace into cheap wine and meth (and maybe he was) to the inexplicable mid 90s cover band. Coldplay never sounded so good.
Today I went to work and totally forgot the various things I was supposed to do about all the things that I have to do until my brother reminded me that we were meeting at my mother's bank at 4:00. I headed over there and was about a block away when, suddenly, as I went to down shift to third gear, the gear shift responded with all the alacrity of a stick in a coffee can. There was nothing there. I mean nothing: the shifter was just hanging loose. I had no idea what to do but I steered the car into the middle turn lane since there is no shoulder on Hendersonville Road, turned on the flashers, braked and tried not to panic as I let the clutch go out and the whole thing died. So I got out of the car, figuring that if a retiree from Florida was going to run into it I would rather not be there. Then I dashed terrified across the street to the wonderful, the awesome, the kind and angelic Chambees car wash, where a whole bunch of guys came running out and stopped traffic and got into my car and turned it into the street there by Chambees and then helped me drift it on down the street, where, mirabile dictu, it turns out there is like the nicest garage in the whole world, complete with 2 wildly friendly and adorable pit bulls and many very sweet people who took in my car, figured out what was wrong with it in short order (clutch cable just totally broke in half) and will get it back to me tomorrow for far less than I would have paid the Saturn dealership even to open the hood. And I stood around for a while with them smoking cigarettes until my brother came and picked me up.
Then I went to the Admiral with my friend C who is back in town, thank the gods because I have missed him sorely, and now, sigh, I am home where there are many many empty boxes that need filling and the dogs are getting nervous as they sense these terrible winds of change. Tomorrow a bunch of my girlfriends are coming over to my mothers with me to go through all her clothes. That is going to be hard. Long sigh.