Shabbat shalom, y’all! We are once again delighted to have Josh back to share with us a story of hope, overcoming adversity, and mangoes. Yay Josh!
I was enjoying a lovely spring morning on a post-yogalates high when I discovered some random jerk had broken the driver side window on my car. What follows is a story of the most expensive way I’ve ever “cleaned” a window — the rest of my windows are still filthy — and my evaporating masculinity.
What’s the thought process when you discover your window’s broken? First, I immediately took a picture and texted it to my coworker and my sister. Then I struggled with the internal debate of whether or not to put it on Facebook — sympathy points vs. the desperate call for attention and pity. After deciding that the texts were enough of a dissemination of the news, I snapped into actually productive action. I looked up on Yelp the closest auto glass place with high reviews and spoke with a very helpful man. I consulted with him about whether or not to call the police (answer: pointless) and whether to deal with insurance (answer: pointless). He said a glass man would be headed my way soon.
Without hesitation, I grabbed my canvas grocery bag to walk to the store to buy apples, mangoes, oranges, and stamps, and to try to forget about the whole thing. At the grocery store, my neighbor called me to report that my window had been broken. I thanked him excessively for keeping an eye out and letting me know about my window. He added that he had slept with the windows open last night and didn’t hear a thing. He’s either a heavy sleeper, which is probably why me blaring Meek Mill at all hours appears to have no effect on him, or the burglar who broke the window was just that good. We are talking such a good cat burglar that I still cannot find any sign that anything has been stolen from my car. Maybe, weeks later, it will dawn on me that they took that free promotional pen for Bacardi that I got at a bar, featuring a tip that lights up and flashes orange. Oh, or better yet, the cat burglar will be holding up the line in front of me at the grocery store, and I’ll see them slowly signing a check with a flashing orange pen. My stomach will drop out all Keyser Soze Usual Suspects style as I slo-mo spill my canvas bag of mangoes, apples, oranges, and stamps.
Soon enough, after a nice discussion with my checker-outer at the grocery store about the iPhone vs. the Android (answer: iPhone is better), I met my glass man. He had called me while I was at the grocery store to tell me that he was already at the scene of the crime, and I told him I’d have to meet him. I asked him if he could get started on the window, and he asked me if the car’s alarm was activated. I very confidently said, “No,” beginning the decline of me and the glass man’s relationship.
When I arrived to my car, the hood was slightly ajar, and he had begun work. In a paranoid Dateline News, 20/20-esque move, thinking I was the latest in the epidemic of stolen catalytic converters, I asked him if my hood had always been popped . Holding a cigarette like a bad ass, he looked at me and said, “I did that. Your alarm was on.” This led to my nervous, overly complex explanation that I thought my alarm didn’t work because my remote control key doesn’t work, which then led to a confusing conversation to how I open my car door, with me just answering a few times, “the key.” He proceeded to set my alarm off a few more times and generally look pissed.
He then asked me if a plug was nearby to vacuum my car. I said yes, but we would have to move it to the driveway. My door was half-dismantled and glass was everywhere, so I said that I didn’t know how that could be done. He smirked and said, “I can do it. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen something like this.” It was like we were both at a homicide scene, and I’m the rookie detective throwing up in the corner. Nonchalantly, cigarette still festering in one hand, he hopped in my car, sat on a bunch of glass, and backed my car into the driveway. These were three things I wouldn’t do: (1) smoke, (2) sit in glass, and (3) BACK INTO MY DRIVEWAY. We were about 10 minutes into this thing, and he basically had me completely owned. Let’s not get into the fact that I’m pretty sure while I was buying mangoes he dismantled my door with one hand WHILE SMOKING. I get nervous just being around a lit cigarette, worrying that the person will accidentally graze my arm and give me a cigarette burn.
He worked and worked while I sat on my outside stairs, texting, checking Facebook, taking iPhone pictures, essentially knowing that there was no way to salvage myself in this situation. I might as well fall into my natural tendencies, take a few pictures of the beautiful weather, the way the light fell on a nearby tree or the clouds passing overhead. If my glass man saw me do this, I didn’t care. I had already tipped my hand with the alarm incident and fear of driving my own car.
I snapped out of my daydreaming when the glass man firmly said to me, “Do you have any hand soap or dish soap?” I popped up and said yes without questioning why he needed it. I realized that I absolutely could not bring him down my hand soap because it was in a seal-shaped container that I bought at the Japanese $2 store.
Instead, I opted for my Mrs. Meyer’s CLEAN DAY dish soap, which, when price-compared to something like Ajax, is basically liquid gold. I brought it down and hovered around my glass man. He sternly said, “Place it down on the ground.” I set it near him and retreated to my shady stoop. He started indiscriminately squirting the dish soap into the rubber groove that the window slides into to lubricate it. The window was struggling to stay in the groove. He tried to guide it in and would every now and then hit my door really hard. I don’t know if this was functional, out of frustration, or to show me just how hard he could hit something as I flinched and jerked from the loud sound.
He got more and more and pissed and finally seemed to call it a day, proclaiming the job “good enough.” He operated the window in front of me as it creaked and moaned. He said that I should stick some WD-40 in there. I proudly said, “I have some upstairs. Should I get it?” He raised his eyebrows in disbelief and said, “Yeah.” I triumphantly marched upstairs, manhood restored and maybe even inflated. I could see the blue can in my mind with its skinny red straw, and I imagined gruffly handing it to him like a man in an auto shop, maybe throwing in an “Eeer ya go” with a heavy New York accent. Of course when I get upstairs, I can’t find the WD-40 anywhere. I frantically tear my house apart. I text my sister, “Do you have my wd40?” (Answer: Hmmmm…I can’t remember.)
I sheepishly walk back outside to report back that I can’t find it. He looks less than surprised, and gives me a “thought so” look. The payment is made, and I wonder if I should bring up the fact that my window was broken but now is creaky and moaning. I decide that I’d rather just get to work, and even though it is a gorgeous day I’ll drive with my window up. This all works until I get to my fancy parking lot, where I have to find my parking card next to my orange flashy pen, roll down the window, and hold my card up to the lot reader. As I find myself in this moment, the window just squeaks and groans, wondering what the hell happened.