Brake fluid: the stress reliever.

Last night I headed out to Dover to see some friends perform. I’m not going to write a show review today because I’ve reviewed them to death. I got out that way rather early because I had some time to kill. Besides, I wanted to stop somewhere to get online so I could publish yesterday’s post, update my podcasts, and other assorted things to keep myself occupied. While online I checked my financial situation, which isn’t dire but still depressing. Yet again I had to call my landlord and ask if she could hold off cashing a rent check for another week. She’s family and is good about it but I still hate the fact that after so many months I haven’t been able to get to the point where she can get her money on time. So while she isn’t worried about it I was stressing out over the situation. That already put me in a somewhat dour mood.

After I left the coffee shop I decided to drive around the area and do a little window shopping. If you remember, driving is a good source of agitation for me. Driving on a Friday night in the shopping district of Somersworth is asking for road rage. I didn’t have too many problems in this regard, however. My biggest beef* was that the F.M. transmitter I’ve been using for my iPod decided last night to stop working properly. If it stopped working completely then I could have unplugged it and moved on. Instead it worked partially, and I had to keep moving the audio cable to get it to send a proper signal. To help visualize, it’s the kind that plugs into the cigarette lighter and has an audio cable that hooks up to the iPod. A while back I broke it open, but was able to put it back together. Unfortunately it doesn’t stay together very well, and the audio cable has a hard time staying in place. It doesn’t send a very good signal anyway so I faced yet another possible expense of replacing it.

Then as I was driving around in one of the parking lots the brake light on my car turned on. I just had work done on my brakes to pass inspection by a mechanic that I trust. I didn’t want to face another big repair bill and the emotional damage of that trust being broken. I did cling onto some hope that maybe because it was raining so heavily yesterday that something got into the brakes and needed to work its way out. I’m no mechanic myself so I don’t know how plausible that sounds. I just wanted it to be true. But I stopped, went into a store to find that they didn’t carry F.M. transmitters for iPods anymore, and came back to my car to find that the brake light still didn’t turn off.

Even with my emotional state at that time I was level-headed enough to check the brake fluid. It did seem rather low, although it was hard to see even with a flashlight. One would think that the reservoir would be a little clearer but I went with the thought that I should try to refill it anyway. Sadly, the one store in the area that was open at that time of night that I knew would have brake fluid belonged to the chain that I generally don’t support. Even aside from my personal issues with that company, I hate going in there. There’s something about the atmosphere that gets on my nerves. But I knew they would have brake fluid so I forced myself there. Finding parking was annoying what with how busy it was, my windshield was fogged up, and I was still fighting with the stupid transmitter. Then going inside I had to deal with working my way around what seemed like hundreds of slow-moving people. When I finally made my way to the back of the store where the automotive section was, I couldn’t make heads or tails of what chemicals were where.

I finally found brake fluid and was relieved that it was at least cheap. I then pushed my way back up to the front of the store only to get even more agitated at how long the lines were. I waited as patiently as I could, got my fluid, then went out to the parking lot. As I filled it I noticed that I did indeed needed some. So I rationalized that even if that wasn’t the problem the trip wasn’t completely wasted as I would have had to buy some fluid anyway. I got back in my car and turned it on. The brake light didn’t come back on again. It’s amazing how much a two-and-a-half dollar bottle of brake fluid can do to relieve stress. But after that my emotional state was smooth sailing for the rest of the night. Which was good because I drove home after being up for twenty hours and who knows who I might have run over if I wasn’t paying attention.

*Can I use that term if I’m a vegetarian?

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