I think I cycled through every emotion on my day off. I was anxious the night before, trying to wean myself off Ambien and replacing it with alcohol. But alcohol does zany things to my body. Sometimes I feel sleepy. Sometimes it makes my heart race. Sometimes I’ll knock out at the start of the night, but wake up wide-eyed in the middle of the night, unable to sleep…with the shakes. I considered ditching alcohol for Lent. I know it’ll do my body good, but I just can’t. I really cannot do it. I would simply end up caving in. Goals have to be realistic.
But I got to sleep in which made me happy. Ran some errands. No lines at the dry cleaner, Costco. Always a line at Starbucks, unfortunately. I headed to Sausalito for lunch. I felt like fish n’ chips, felt like enjoying the beautiful day by sitting on the dock, overlooking San Francisco. I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, delighted to be living in this wonderful city. Wow, I am so lucky. This is my backyard. Licked the basket clean of every fried morsel of fish, every french fry. Headed back into the city for a couple hours at the Nob Hill Spa at the old school San Francisco Huntington Hotel. Beautiful spa mainly for the view, but tiny space altogether. The steam room was half the size of my cube. Totally lame.
I came out. Stalker had called. And my car had been towed. Obviously it was my fault. I hadn’t checked the signs carefully. Tow-away zone (even though it was a side street adjacent to California) from 4-6pm. There were tons of cars lined up when I parked. I was elated as always to find an open spot. The cars weren’t there when I finished the spa around 5. FUCK!!! I called the tow-away number on the sign and punched in my license plate. The prompt recited: “If your car is a grey Honda, come to 450 7th Street to reclaim your car.”
I cabbed down, commiserating out loud, “My car is probably worth less than what it’ll cost me to get it out!”
“If you really think that, then I’ll buy your car from you,” the cabbie insisted.
I seemed to get there right in the nick of time as I grabbed a number and a crowd of people filled in behind me, trying to figure out the ticket machine.
“NUMBER 327, step up. Driver’s license please.”
“While you’re at it, can you check if I have any outstanding tickets.”
“No, looks good. Nothing delinquent.” The girl behind the counter looked like she was in high school. Asian, round, smiling face. “So that’ll be $238.75 for the towing.”
“No ma’am sorry,” she laughed.
“Senior citizen discount?”
“I swear to God I’m keeping the San Francisco economy afloat.”
She handed me my receipt and told me to walk down the ramp, and hand the receipt to the guard to reclaim my car. As I waited behind the gate, three people filled in behind me with receipts in hand. The first was a hippy Russian girl probably in her twenties. “I can’t believe this. I mean, there were all these cars there. I was gone for fifteen minutes, I swear.”
The next woman–much older–said she had walked all the way from the outer Sunset. She barely had enough money to take public transportation let alone pay the towing fee. She had to borrow a friend’s credit card.
The third guy was my age, dressed up in a suit, hipster Asian. “The sad thing is that my dad had his car towed last week!”
So that’s where my rebate is going. Towing expenses plus the $60 ticket for being parked in a tow-away zone. Fun! There goes the new digital camera I wanted to buy. Expect more blurry pictures with my early onset of Parkinson’s disease.