Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Ride Home - Part 2

...Continued from Part 1

It's 20 years later. I have a Jeep. It even works. But someone I know is having car trouble, so I'm lending them the Jeep and using the motorcycle.
Except for yesterday. Yesterday was pouring out. So I went to the person borrowing my Jeep and asked for a ride to work. I don't want to use any names in this blog, so I won't use one here. This person, however, does bear a striking resemblance to my Dad.
Just because of the resemblance, I'll call him Dad.
Yeah, sure, that's the ticket...
So anyway, it was Dad's day off, so he was able to give me a ride in. I asked, on the ride in, what he was doing later on, say between 5 and 5:30, since I would be needing a ride home as well.
"Call me for a ride," he said.
So he dropped me off at work, and I walked around in the rain like a moron all day. (This may sound harsh, but it was indeed how I was feeling by the end of the day. Soaked to the skin and feeling like a moron.) When I got the mail truck back to the lot I called my Dad's cell-phone.
You see, unlike the first part of this story, I have a cell-phone now. So does Dad.
So before I took my stuff back in the office to clear and clock out, I called Dad's cell phone. I got voice-mail.
I hung up with no message and called the house. Yup, that same number I had called for a ride home 20 years earlier and been shut down. No busy signal this time!
No answer, either.
I hung up on the answering machine and called the cell phone again.
Voice-mail. Wit-woo.
I left a message this time.
"Hi Dad, it's me. Rob. I'm just about done with work and I need a ride. It's a little earlier than I thought, but I still have to go in the building to clear out. Just give me a call so I know when to look for you out in the lot. Thanks! Bye."
I went in the building and cleared out. I kept an eye on my phone, looking for the call back. \
No call.
I kept going out of the building onto the ramp, just in case the signal wasn't penetrating the building.
No call.
Granted, I was only in the building for about 15 minutes, but it was worrying. I was remembering a walk home 20 years prior, and this one would be a lot longer, and it was still raining like a bastard. That's when I saw JP. JP is a woman I work with who happens to live in the same town as my parents, and not very far away from them at that. I asked JP for a ride, she said yes, and I avoided the Long Walk.
Yay me!
Yay JP!
On the way to her car I called Dad's cell phone again.
"Hi, Dad? It's me again. Rob. I never heard from you, so you must be busy or something. Unless the signal was blocked by the building and you are actually on your way here right now. I hope not, 'cuz I just got a ride. So, no worries, I'll see you at home. Thanks!"

JP drove me home. We were halfway there when I was struck by a thought. Again.
I sighed. Again.
I said to JP, "You know, I'm going to laugh of we come around that corner and my Jeep is sitting right there in the driveway..."
We rounded the corner.
My Jeep was sitting right there in the driveway.
I sighed. I slumped. I thanked JP for the ride, gathered my work bags and headed into the house. I went upstairs and walked past Dad's office and into my room. On the way by the office door I said "Hey" to Dad, who was sitting at his desk in front of his computer. Right next to an extension for the phone I had called. The one with the answering machine I hung up on.
I put my bags down in my room and went back to the office door.
"You know those two messages?"
Have I mentioned that Dad is a little hard of hearing sometimes? This was one of those times. He had no idea anyone was in the house with him.
He almost fell out of the chair.
When I could hear him through my own laughter, I realized he was asking "What messages?"
"The two messages on your voice-mail. One saying I needed a ride, the other saying I had a ride."
I made a sweeping gesture toward myself.
"Never mind them. I made it!"

That was yesterday. Well, it was 20 years ago and it was yesterday. It rained again today. Mom dropped me off at work this morning since Dad took my Jeep to work with him. Two times in my life I have needed a ride to that house from work due to a car in the shop. Once the car was mine, once it wasn't. One time was 20 years ago, once was just yesterday. Once I was relying on my best friend, once my Dad.

Now here's the funny part, the part that has me giggling slightly. The plan today is that Dad will pick me up when he gets out of work. As I sit here in the library, chuckling and pounding the keys through yet another lunch break, I'm wondering:

Will I make it home?

Tune in tomorrow and find out!

Talk to you later!
(I hope...)

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