I’ve been trying to get my friend Tanner to come hang out at the cigar lounge on Thursday nights (after bible study, not during. I’m not trying to convert him.) Well he’s well meaning and intends to come but this past Thursday he said “Ah shit. I forgot that was today. How about Johnathan’s on Friday?” Well you’ve got to be careful about turning friends down, especially when they have a newborn and can only hang out when they can. Too many dismissals and the invitations stop coming.
I’ve lost too many friends from being on both sides of that equation. And I know half of you (so…like…2) will read that and hear in your head “well they weren’t really friends then.” But hold up with that shit. There are a lot of things that can be answered that way but this isn’t one of them.
Real friendships take work. And while the connection can be there, both people, as in any relationship, need to be able to do the work. Yes they’re self-sustaining once yhou get a certain momentum going. But relationships aren’t magic. So a bunch of The Good People can fall off. Eric, Tarrant, Jordan and several others have fallen into this trap through some combination of my fault and theirs.
So I was gearing up on Friday to hit Johnathan’s. Now, in order to get My Chair at Js I pretty much have to be there at 4. Otherwise the best seat in the house (actually out back. I can’t sit in the bar with the rabble.) Well, at about 2:00 I get the text from Kevin, “Smoke?”
Well, rarely one to shy away from time with friends, especially these friends, especially lately, I texted my acknowledgement, got my (physical) shit together and came down the hill. Of course we had a couple hours of great conversation with Kevin and Chad.
I said my goodbyes and went outside, sat in the truck and turned the key.
Not so much as a click.
I walked back inside and made the jumprope motion. Kevin popped up and came outside to give me a jump. He had one of those jump box batteries that I, you know, didn’t know existed and it didn’t work. So he jumped me off his death star of a diesel.
I drove over to Js, parked the truck and figured there was no way I’d driven it enough to charge it so I left it running for about a half hour, 10 feet from my chair where I could keep an eye on it before shutting it off and trying again.
Well, Tanner and Ken were there and I just resolved to leave when Ken did so I could get a jump. (He’d parked next to me.)
I probably could have gotten a jump from anyone if I’d stayed ’til closing. But I figured I’d rather not chance it so Ken jumped the truck and I drove home.
I figured “Well I’ve got that wall charger that has a ‘start’ mode. So I’ll just do that in the morning and go get a new battery.”
Saturday morning I dragged my ass a bit before trying it.
Guess I’ve got to walk to the Napa store a few miles away, buy a battery and carry it home.
As a goof I check their hours. “Close in 10 minutes.”
I start digging around on amazon (figuring this would be a reasonable excuse to break my moratorium) for a battery. Problem is I know just about nothing about truck batteries. I found it about impossible to figure out what kind of battery I should get for the truck. (I’ve since learned I could probably have just looked at the damn battery and read the label. Gimme some rope, I was stressed.)
I think about it a bit then remember the jump box Kevin had. Ah!
I found the beefiest one I could find that they’d deliver same day (having forgotten that his didn’t actually do the trick) and ordered it.
So this thing comes about 5 hours later and its ownly power charging option for the battery itself is…get this…a usb cable. I just find that stunning. Well, whatever. I plugged it in to a power strip (I was NOT plugging that thing into my computer. No way, no how) and let it charge overnight.
Normally I can sit in my house for a few days before I start getting that telltale itch that requires I just go someplace. But of course the moment I CAN’T go anyplace I’m climbing the fucking walls.
Sunday morning comes and I plug the thing on to the truck and it starts right up. It was goofy.
I left it running, took the box off and went inside to look up the address of the place Kevin had recommended. National battery and tire or some such thing.
So I went through the places I could think of, not willing to go to a walmart or Sam’s or someplace goofy like that.
Oh, duh. O’Reilly. I looked it up online and found one 3 miles away. I swallowed my anxiety and called them up asking if they had the battery I needed (whatever the hell THAT might have been) and if they’d install it because frankly I don’t trust myself to not have fucked that up in some truly monumental way. Yep. All set.
I went down and they had a single battery that’d fit.
$200 MORE later and I was good to go. I texted just about everybody and said I was heading in to Hendersonville on general principle.
I already had my bag in the truck so I came here to Smokey. On my way Kevin texted to see if anyone was going to be (t)here.
I sat here and figured “meh, fuck it” pulled out the laptop and wrote for about a half hour before they got here. So we talked from 2:30 to 6, when Preston closed up the shop, always a pleasure. I huffed 4 cigars in those few hours.
It turns out I smoke at the same speed at which I talk, and inversely to the speed at which I write.
We closed up and I figured “meh, fuck it” and went to Johnathan’s, looking to reclaim the failure from Friday.
I ended the night with a few vodka sodas and some good talk with a couple I hadn’t seen there in a long time that have planted a couple really interesting ideas in my head.
My brain was absolutely swimming as I drove home.