out of gas
I ran out of gas on the Edens today. Apparently this was somehow a minor local news item as it occurred at seven am during the height of rush hour. I don’t think the traffic helicopters caught the sight of my fat ass scrambling over the fence where Lincoln avenue passes over the expressway, but somehow my father heard about it anyway, and he called me in the middle of the day. I felt like a guilty sixteen year old as I insisted that there was something wrong with the goddamned guage, as even after I had filled up the tank it was reading barely three quarters full.He finally conceded that with all the crazy freezes and thaws it was entirely possible the float had gotten stuck. It was a big moment for us.
Naturally, the spot where I had rolled to a halt was residential without a gas station to be found in any direction. I saw a cop, and this gem of the blue brotherhood drove me the mile to the nearest fill up and back to the bridge in ten minutes flat. With the grace of a dancer I stumbled down the abutment to the roadside below and I arrived at my car just as the IDOT assistance vehicle showed up. I actually found this very reassuring, because during my misadventure I had asked myself, what if I were disabled or elderly and in this situation? It certainly wouldn’t have been climbing up an icy muddy embankment to climb over a cyclone fence. It’s a good thing I got my tetanus booster in 2006.
It is a good thing to be self-reliant and take initiative; it is also a good thing to know when to ask for help and who to ask. Good societies help their citizens become self-reliant. The hard line being taken by the Republicans on public sector labor unions, especially after cutting taxes for the rich just two months ago, makes it difficult to not talk about everything in terms of politics and class warfare. The lives of everyday people are affected by this in so many invisible ways; the coarse Republican rhetoric completely ignores the real consequences of what happens to our societies when we cut spending with an axe.