It happened in a parking lot on campus. A "Service Vehicle Only" parking lot to be exact. Not only was I murdering my car each time I tried turning my keys, but I was also breaking collegiate law simultaneously. The distress and confusion lead to a personal and intimate crisis, questioning the authority of responsibility and sanctitude.
I was in the midst of unloading keyboard equipment for a miscellaneous jam session with my musician buddies on a Sunday morning when my car broke down. The reason why I parked in a restricted parking zone was for the sake of convenience and time. After my friends removed my keyboard from my car, I had the plan of moving my car to a legal parking garage.
As they were walking away, I could not rotate my keys to turn on the car's engine. My initial thought was that the tires were locked. It was a common problem that was easy to fix: turn the steering wheel. That didn't work. Maybe the car just needs a rest. After a few minutes, I tried again. Still...nothing. Panic started to set in. I called my friends and they gave their advice. Then they called their siblings for their input. I called my father, who told me to call the service number that was located in the glovebox of the car. One of my friends later informed me that he had a device that could possibly jump the car. He left to retrieve it from his apartment and come back in a few minutes.
Within that hour of unfortunate luck, I found myself actively engaged in conversations about car technology. I was never one with an interest in cars, didn't really care for a dream car or a focus on luxury vehicles. Sure, I like to cruise around in my father's little red Corvette when I make visits back to my childhood home, but that was about it in relation to the rather tiresome subject. Suddenly, I heard a roar from my car. The lights were on and it was humming, like a cat getting their belly rubbed. My friend with the device was grinning and I was relieved. He told me that the problem was a dead battery and that I needed to purchase a new one. I thanked him and set off.
The road to the local Walmart Auto-Center was busy, filled with relaxed parents dropping off their child at the university. I sat in my car wondering. Is this God's way of punishing me for all the troubles I've caused? The time I gossiped, cursed, or sassed my parents? Maybe it's time to become a more spiritual person. Or maybe this was a punishment because I was cold or rude to someone that I cannot place in my mind. Or is this the Universe telling me that the new year of 2019 will be a stressful one? Why, of all places, did my car break down? Am I lacking in something? My mind was racing.
After I purchased an expensive new battery for my car, I started to relax. Of course, there are a million questions as to why and how, but it's humanly impossible to answer all of them. I take this lesson in stride, knowing that fixing your car troubles is a small but significant step towards idealized adulthood.