I walk up to my car, parked on 25th street between 2nd avenue/3rd avenue in Manhattan on Wednesday, ready to take the drive from NYC to Boston. I hit my unlock button and nothing happens.
“Hmm,” I think to my self. “I wonder if the battery in my key fob is dead.”
I pull out the metal key from the fob and open the car door. I haven’t had to manually open a car door since I was in college. I sit down in the car and push the start button, again, thinking how crazy technology has advanced in automobiles. Nothing happens!!!
My mind goes to oh shit!
I can feel a bit of negative energy circling in my brain, when one of the topics that Marianne Williamson preaches slipped into my thoughts.
“I can see this differently,” & I can see peace instead of this.”
Ok, I have a dead battery, I thought. It is so dead that nothing will turn on in my car. The lights won’t pop on, the seat won’t move, the radio is silent, and I can’t roll down the window to get the stench of my shoes in the back seat to leave my nose alone. I hit the trunk button, nope! That won’t open. I go to the back of the trunk thinking that I could put the metal key in the key hole (for those young bucks that don’t know how keys in cars work without a fob). No key hole in sight. The trunk won’t open where my jumper cables lie anxiously waiting to do there job.
“I can see this differently,” keeps ringing in my ear.
I call my insurance for road side assistance and realize that I don’t have it included in my plan. Here comes my cheap nature as it is only a $1 dollar a month add on and I refused it to save $12 dollars a year. Wise move on my part, because that is the price of one beer in NYC. She told me I can add it to my plan, but that it won’t be included until tomorrow and the charge to have them come out is around $90. I add it, but tell her that I had wanted to be in Boston today, so I would be looking for another option and saving the $90. Ok, Option 1 is a no go for today. I then google in search for the nearest Auto Zone. I am in the middle of Manhattan, barley anyone owns a car, I thought. I find an Auto place a few miles away. There is one Option number 2.
I hop out of my car and decide that If I see someone on my journey to the Auto store I will ask them to help me jump my car. If everything you hear about New Yorkers is true, they most likely will look at me like I am crazy for even talking to them. Or I will get an Italian accent saying “You want a jump, FUHGEDDABOUDIT.” I see a young man parked on the side waiting for someone to move. I know I have a primo spot as leverage so I walk up to him and say:
You can have my spot if you give me a jump?
He responds that he doesn’t have any jumper cables, but his friends had found a spot close by and he will ask them. The kid in the other car tells me that he doesn’t have any cables. I said thank you and even though they couldn’t help, I was impressed with how friendly they were. All of a sudden I hear a:
“YO – I found some. I had no clue I had these in the back of my car. I am actually not sure how they got in there.”
From all of the crazy and amazing things that have happened to me along my trip I was not surprised at how they got in the trunk. We pull one of there cars up next to mine and like the 5 stooges (4 of them and 1 of me) we attempt to jump my car. I know my dad would be so proud that I am so clueless about cars that I struggle to even jump it. I need to make up for my admission in the MAN Co. in other ways so that I don’t lose my MAN CARD.
While we are waiting for it to charge a bit we start chatting. They start asking me questions, I start sharing details about my life and journey and I am asking them questions and they are sharing details about their life. They are all from the Queens neighborhood and college students at Baruch College right in the middle of Manhattan. We sat there for about an 45 minutes trying to jump my car. My battery seemed to be toasted and while I got juice back into my car for the lights and trunk to work, the car would not turn over. One of them chimed in:
“It is probably your starter.”
another jumps in:
“Nope it is just that your batter is completely dead, you need a new battery.”
We decided to try for a few more minutes, which turned into 15 minutes or so (on top of the 45minutes we were already sitting there chatting). It was funny because at one point we were talking so much about life and our stories that we didn’t even care that we were jumping the car. We were not even focused on getting the car jumped, we were just enjoying each others company.
I tried to jump it one more time. Nothing!!! I pull off the cables and tell them:
“Man, I am so sorry that I had you guys sit her all this time and you didn’t get my spot.”
I then find out that one of the kids, the car that we were using, missed his class because he was trying to help me. Now I felt even more awful.
“Let me buy you a beer or something,” they were over 21 (just throwing that out there).
“No man, it is all good.”
“I just feel so bad, I said. I made you miss class and you still don’t have a parking spot.”
One of them chimes in:
“Who are you? Why are you apologizing to us. You are the one whose car is messed up and you are apologizing to us. Why aren’t you upset. Seriously.
His buddy chimes in:
“Seriously man, why are you reminding him that he is fucked.”
I start to laugh and tell them it is all good. I have had so many things happen to me along this journey and usually there is a reason for it to happen. Again the kid says :
“What? I can’t believe you are not mad. Who are you!”
“I am just upset because I smell like ass. I haven’t taken a shower yet today and I was planning on taking one at an LA Fitness outside Boston before I went exploring.”
That is when they offer to sneak me into their college (you need an ID card and you have to be a student to get in) and you can use one of the showers in college. I graciously accept and thank them again for all of their kindness. I go to the trunk, which now opens because I have enough juice to pop it and grab some new clothes to wear for the day, all of my essentials, a towel, and a bag. I then follow them to the college as we continue to chat where they lead me to the shower.
After cleaning up, I head out for the day and decide that one more day in NYC is a pretty good positive to a negative. I start looking for something to do during the day, as Katie (my new friend, I will share her amazing story in a blog to come) is at work and working late tonight. I then notice that the Chicago White Sox are in town to play the Yankees. What are the odds. My favorite team is in town and playing the legendary Yankees . I decide at that moment that I am going to go watch my Sox play at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
When I reflect back on the situation there were so many reasons that my battery died:
- My battery died so that I could have on more day in the city.
- My battery died so I could meet those kids in the street, who were all awesome guys.
- My battery died so I could witness the love and generosity of other people.
- My battery died so I could see my White Sox get spanked by the Yankees (the game was ugly, but the environment was amazing).
The next morning I am waiting for Road Side Assistance to come and jump my car (the best $1 I have ever spent). Actually I take that back, the best $1 I have ever spent was at Jack N Box when I got 2 delicious tacos with hot sauce after a night out on the town). So after spending the 2nd best $1 I have ever spent, the road side assistance mechanic shows up, puts on the charger and the car starts up in like 2 seconds. I tell him that we tried this for an hour yesterday and he explains that we didn’t have it grounded in the right spot. I laughed to myself, one more reason that I met these guys, because they had no clue how to jump a car either and that allowed me to go to the game.
As I am about to jump in my car, guess who pulls up. One of the guys from last night!
“Hey man are you getting it jumped? Can I have your spot?”
I pull out feeling amazing. I got an extra day in NYC and I was still able to give my spot to one of the guys who was so generous to waste an hour helping me yesterday.
The Universe knows what it is doing