Last Friday night was pretty stressful. I’d gotten a one-night gig the previous day to give out exit surveys to a couple of showings at a local theatre. Enough happened with that job that midway through the night, I was praying to Anubis for a parking spot as I rushed back to Staples to pick up another box of golf pencils, avoiding cops and using the speed limit signs as more guidelines than rules. Praying for a spot when I got back, I promised him a special treat of whatever he wanted, so long as he gave me an idea of what it was.
The rest of the job went rather smoothly. We were there past midnight doing the data entry portion that had to be done that night else…something bad would happen. I dunno, maybe the sky would open up and rain blood. More likely, though, it would have ended up being that we got docked pay. Seeing as how I was getting $150 for the night and I needed every dime, I wasn’t chancing it.
With the surveys collected and data input online, I bid goodbye to my cohort for the night and went to my car. When I left earlier that night, the gas light had come on telling me I needed gas. Not knowing where the nearest gas station was, I headed out and started home, opting to find one along the way.
I should have just found a gas station right away.
About a mile away from my apartment, in the middle of town, after having tried three gas stations only to find them locked and the pumps turned off for the night, my car shuddered to a stop. No, really. Cars actually do that when they run out of gas. Shudder, slow down, shudder again, and stop. No amount of begging, coaxing, nor bargaining will get it to go again. I turned on my hazards, put it in park (for all the good it would do me), and turned off the car. I knew there was a gas station up ahead, about half a block, but was unsure if it was open (it wasn’t). So there I was, on the side of the road, at 1:30 in the morning, with a dead car and a phone that died as soon as I went to check its battery life. (The downside to spending the entire battery trying to input surveys as quick as possible.)
I went back to my car, got in, locked the doors, and started the car again. To be honest, I’m surprised it started at all, though it may have just gone to accessories. I plugged in the phone and begged it to start up so I could call someone, anyone. When it finally did turn on, I dialed 911, not knowing who else to call and not knowing how much battery I would have.
As I was on the phone with 911, a woman pulled up next to my car. I was crying by that point, stressed and having had two mild panic attacks in the car. She asked me if I needed help and when I got off the phone with 911 – who claimed they would call a tow truck – she let me get in her car to charge my phone, warm up, and calm down while we waited. Shortly after that, a cop pulled up behind my car and approached her vehicle. At his agreement, we got out and explained what had happened, my voice cracking every now and again due to stress and trying not to have another panic attack. He canceled the tow truck for us and told us to head up to the gas station another three blocks up to get some gas for my car, just enough to get me to the station so I could finish filling up.
Long story short, we fashioned a gas can out of an empty water jug and a sliced open water bottle for a funnel, filled up my car with the gallon of gas, and got me to the gas station. I filled up and headed home to The Boyfriend who, after a shower, held me as I cried and laughed out of a complex feeling of shame and relief, then we fell asleep after 3 in the morning.
Earlier that evening, I had begged Anubis to keep an eye out for me. Granted, at the time, it was only for a parking spot at the theatre, but I refuse to believe he had nothing to do with the events of the rest of the night. As a Patron of travelers, he had to be keeping an eye out for me that night. My car broke down, finally, in the middle of town where all the businesses were closed and I was beside an empty park. Overall, it was the creepiest place I could be in my area. The woman who stopped after ten cars drove right on past me? She worked for the Sheriff’s department. Less than five minutes after she stopped? The cop showed up and kept an eye on my car while we made a run to the gas station. Everything that could have gone wrong that night, especially when I got out of the car, alone, to check on the gas station a half block up? (Protip: do not get out of the car.) Nothing did. In fact, everything that could have gone right did go right.
Anubis still hasn’t told me what treat he wants, not that I can tell. I did, however, buy zucchini yesterday, so it may be that I treat the favored god to a zucchini bread muffin soon.