The last time I drove a car was many years ago. My vehicle was a beat-up grey Toyota of some sort with a dent in the side. I was headed out of town and something was wrong with the engine. Not again! Jeeesuuuuus! I pulled over to the side of the road and rested my head against the steering wheel. I was so broke. I was always so broke. This car was costing me so much money. But I guess not so much more than any other vehicle I had ever owned. I could barely afford to maintain it. The cost of tires, repairs, oil changes. And the mechanic I had was nice enough, but since I knew nothing about cars he could have told me it needed a new flux capacitor and I would have shelled out a pile of cash, because it sounds important, doesn’t it?
I had just gotten out of the car and was writing a note to pin under the wiper blade (I was kind of close to someone’s driveway) when a guy in a welding truck pulled over.
“You need a hand?” he asked as he stepped down from the cab. He was big guy with a buzz cut and dark-framed glasses.
“Broke down.” I shrugged.
“You want a ride back into town?” He asked like being helpful was the most natural thing in the world. God, I love Alberta.
I got into the cab and he introduced me to his son–a boy of about 8 or 9 who had a buzz cut and dark-framed glasses and was enjoying a slurpee. The boy had a husky, gravelly voice, and he chattered happily about visiting his dad for the weekend (he beamed at his dad who smiled with pride) and told me about the plans they had for the weekend.
By the time they dropped me off we were fast friends. I thanked them for the ride. It had begun to rain and I hurried into my apartment. I took a deep breath and looked out the window. I thought about phoning the mechanic. Phoning for a tow. Calculating the cost. More money spent on something I didn’t even enjoy, or like, and I was getting more resentful and depressed, just thinking about the time I would have to spend sorting this shit out. I felt chained to a money-eating anvil.
It was at that moment I made a decision that changed my life. I picked up the phone and dialed.
“Hello. Kidney Car Donation,” the person answering the phone said.
“Yes, I have a car I want to donate.” I gave her the details of where to find the car.
“We will send you a tax receipt,” she informed me.
At that point I didn’t really care about the tax receipt. I just sat in my kitchen, my bare little kitchen, and looked out at the rainy city and felt free. I felt light and free. The relief almost made me cry.