Man are we ever lucky. I was driving the VW back from a visit to upstate NY in heavy traffic on the Thruway on Monday of the Fourth of July holiday weekend when I heard a funny noise. I asked Lou if he heard something and rolled down my window so we could listen. All the sudden, I heard a loud bang, and the car started spinning. I didn’t see my life flash before my eyes, but I immediately noted that I have never understood the phrase, “turn into the spin.” Next thing I knew, the car was stopped in the middle lane, facing the wrong way on the NYS Thruway with a flat tire. Amazingly, there was no traffic, and I had pressed the clutch, so the car didn’t stall, and I just hobbled over to the shoulder facing the wrong direction. Almost instantaneously after getting safely out of the way, there was a horde of traffic again. We got out of the car, I said a little thank you prayer to whoever had just saved us, and Lou got down and dirty in the gravel to put on the tiny spare. A police car came by and the officer blocked a lane to stop traffic so we could pull out and get turned around again. It was a miracle the holiday traffic simply disappeared when we spun out.
The VW is full of rust, and barely holding together. While at Stony Brook, the rear bumper simply broke off on one side when a foot had leaned against it for balance. I tied it up with rope, which held well enough. I swear it nearly got me in killed one night while I was making my weekly trek from Long Island to South Jersey. I was driving along and noticed an 18-wheeler come up beside me, drop back, and the driver started honking the horn and flashing headlights behind me. Knowing my bumper was attached by silly string, I assumed the frantic beeping and flashing lights were to signal a problem. I pulled over, but saw nothing extraordinary besides the rope, which still securely held the bumper in place. The 18-wheeler also pulled over, and the driver got out and quickly started walking toward me. I was about to ask him what he saw wrong with my vehicle, when he called out, “Hey, darling!” I immediately recognized he was not a Good Samaritan, threw my hands up and yelled at him for making me pull over for nothing. I got back in the car, locked the doors, and pulled out before he could get close enough to do any harm.
I miss really Stony Brook. I had a lot of friends there by the time I left. Those l1 weeks when Lou was living here in Jersey and I was still on Long Island were great. After I was done with homework and projects, I went out just about every night with a small group of friends to a Mexican bar for chips and Margaritas. A girlfriend moved in, so I wasn’t alone at home either. I kept myself entertained and wasn’t sitting around moping about Alan, and we became comfortable as friends again, but it wasn’t the same by any means.
Now that I’ve moved here, I feel isolated since I don’t know anyone. This apartment is ok, and it is nice to have the bigger color television again. I’m going to Rutgers in Camden, NJ for the last few needed credits for graduation. I took the subway the first day and when I came up the stairs from the underground to the street, I had no idea where I was. The first thing I noticed was a group of guys, whom most people would assume to be punks, stop whatever they had been doing to just look at me. Instead of moving away, I decided to go directly over to ask them for help. They were kind and showed me exactly where I needed to go. I do firmly believe that you should assume the best of people. Lou says I’m a Polly Anna, which I will take as a compliment even though it was not intended to be. I prefer to be disappointed by the bad than surprised by the good stuff in life.
I’m sending out resumes now for jobs in Philadelphia and South Jersey. Looking at the ads in the paper, most of the programmer jobs require COBOL experience, which they did not cover in school. They taught us Pascal, and programming languages in general, which included just a little bit of COBOL. I know I can learn any language, and that I’m an awesome programmer. I always got A’s and made Phi Beta Kappa. Intel wanted me, so I am hoping that it was a good sign that there will be something for me here also.