At the Car Hospital

I went to visit my car at the auto body shop today, and it’s left me feeling . . . I don’t know. Shaken, maybe. I never wanted to see it in the intermediate stages of restoration — things so often get worse before they get better, and this is so much worse! — but I needed to see if the car was in fact being worked on.

And oh, the poor thing! Makes me wonder if I will regret having all the work done. I am pouring out a lot of money for what is, after all, an ancient vehicle. (I have never done an expensive foolhardy thing in my life, never wasted more than a few dollars at a time, so if this turns out to be a foolish move, then, I’ll just chalk it up to experience.) Even worse, I’m stuck in this vehicleless and homeless state for another month, and the frustration of it all is getting to me. I am an independent soul who hates begging for help, and lately, I am in that situation more often than not, especially since I am running out of people to sponge off of. In the beginning, people felt good about helping, and were pleased to have an opportunity to be kind, but three months is enough to strain everyone’s patience.

One friend said that the reason homeless people end up on the street is that they run out of people to stay with, and I am heading in that direction, at least locally. I’m not in any danger of ending up on the street — I’m not destitute and there are such things as motels, after all, but without a car, I would be trapped.

I suppose it’s good for me to be temporarily embracing such a lifestyle as this, humbling though it might be. Since I have chosen to believe I am where I am meant to be, there could be a reason I am supposed to be hanging around. Or not. It could simply be an ill-fated wind blowing through my life.

Oddly, despite the lengthy restoration process (and the even lengthier wait for the restorer to get started), I still trust this guy. I think he’s an artist who knows what he is doing. And one cannot hurry art. So will this mess end up as a workable piece of art? Only the auto body guy knows.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

9 Responses to “At the Car Hospital”

  1. Sam Sattler Says:

    Good luck, Pat. If the car is done right, you will definitely have something to be proud of…almost like seeing an old friend in new clothes. All the best.

  2. snakesinthegrass2014 Says:

    I find myself transfixed by the saga of your car. Each time you post, I look for car information! Has he done *anything* to it? Are the white patches I’m seeing from your picture done by this restorer? I’m so sorry for your long odyssey. My sister had the exact baby blue model circa 1974. Best, Marty.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      All the white patches are rust patches or dents fixed. Odd — I didn’t realize there was so much hidden by what looked like good paint. The large patch on the rear of the left bumper was a place where someone else had fixed a dent many years ago. This guy didn’t like the way it was done. I didn’t care, but apparently he did and fixed it.

  3. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Hang in there, Pat. We’re rooting for you.

  4. Constance Says:

    Hang in there. Here’s to it being beautiul when done.

  5. pamkirst2014 Says:

    I bet that car will repay all your worry–look forward to seeing the transformation!

  6. Coco Ihle Says:

    You see? We’re all pulling for you. And your car!

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