"Just go. You're done. You've been raised. Go. Just go..."

With this it's time to see the boy off to college. The boy, 19 years, more or less, the daughter leaves in 5 days, but the boy, well, we're a little more attuned, he's been around a lot more. And there's the awkward final farewell, coffee, my pleading for a final bottle of Vodka, the last-ditch attempts to empty the apartment of useless shit I'm reluctant to pack up yet again into the locker...he's hung out long enough, other commitments, it's painful, I know, making sure he's set, I can't offer him any of the essentials like food or liquor, but I've a superfluity of ornament, books, cufflinks, gifts for girlfriends he has yet to meet...

"You need any maps to the local gold and diamonds?" I offer...

He mostly declines.

"Whatcha gonna do after?" I ask him, although I know the answer..."Mostly lawyering I think, Pa" he replies. I know, but I'm damned.

He's excited, wants on-the-road-right-now, I get it, I do too, but 5 days left of the daughter and 10,000 days of unpaid bills and expenses and I'm trapped once again. Fucking bloody hell.

She's tripping over her tongue in her attempts to sound clever, using those big words she'd read without trying to sound them out first:

"...it's homo-genius..."

..."...you mean like Michelangelo?" I ask innocently. then, noticing the blank look on her face "You look plerplexed...". If you can't beat 'em...

This DIDN'T work into my budget.

The car, after my rad hose replacement (2 & 1/2 hours, 2 hours removing old hose, 20 minutes adding new one), continued to spew fluid and so I decided (without evidence, as is my wont) that it needed a new water pump. The leaks were too far back to be the radiator.

So, when time and money permitted, I booked it into a well reputed mechanic, a lot of google searching, but I finally found one. 

Tuesday, the 14th of July.

I'm not thrilled about this, I'm anticipating some rather costly repairs that I've been pretty happily ignoring.

And, sure enough, by 11:00 AM that morning the mechanic calls, the problem wasn't with my water pump, it was a loose rad hose, it's fixed...

Um, Oh...

And, BTW, we noticed, the muffler you wanted us to put on, well, it's not the muffler, it's the entire exhaust system...and there's issues with the ball joints, the shocks, the coil springs, vague oil and transmission leaks, brake hoses...he could go on.

I authorize him repairs up to $600.00. "I mean, is it worth it?" I ask, and he understands, explains that often it's sentiment, knowing your car, and I explain that I'm not afflicted with those for this, it's all practical, business, business, this isn't the Volvo, after all, and after a bit of hedging he agrees. Approved up to $600.00, he'll ignore the exhaust, work on the rest.

He calls me later, estimates $772.00, I haven't the cash for this but agree, back to the pawnshop...

The daughter, 14, she arrived last night, she's tagging along, a day in the life of Pa...

After the pawn and before the trip up to retrieve the car. He's looked at all the data, looked underneath the car, it isn't worth it. And so I'm just going to pay for the pressure test (fix the rad hose problem), and the muffler check. Under $200.00. And I'm in part relieved, this car was only ever a beater, not a project for me. and I'm glad I didn't over invest in it.

We take a cab to go and pick it up, the daughter and I. Take cab, the daughter arguing it's an extravagance, for me, it's a relief, the $772 Quoted repairs don't accommodate my budget...

...At the mechanic's he's explaining to me what's wrong with the car. He's got the overly intense stare of a Zealot, the crazy eyes, he's telling me again about the loose ball joints, broken coil springs, leaking shocks, the exhaust, the loose rad hose, the right rear tire worn to the point where you can read the legend "REPLACE TIRE NOW" raised in the rubber..."Never seen that before...." he tells me. The only tire I haven't replaced.

"Don't know who fixed it...., and I don't mean to give any insults...but..."

He knows, he knows damned well...and he continues, the brakes, as well, were recently repaired, they're loose, all over the place...they'll work, sure, but he explains to me how they should have been repaired, me, I'm playing along, the idiot, "Damn that last mechanic!!" I say, but we both know who that mechanic was...

Maybe I can sell it for parts, the engine, the tranny, their good, easily worth $500.00 as a parts car he assures me, but not at all worth investing in fixing. And I'm praying that it lasts the summer, no more logging roads, the first big prospecting finds will be sold and reinvested in a jeep,...

After the mechanic, the daughter, she guesses..."You fixed the rad hose and the brakes, didn't you...?". "It'll be a great car for you to learn to drive on" I counter.

At the restaurant, G, in preparation for his trip to Italy, has been reading every facebook post by every distant and forgotten relation. And finding disturbing clips, Italy, now overrun with African Immigrants, committing crimes, getting paid to do nothing, blighting the Italian Economy...

He's got a theory. Round 'em all up and send 'em home. He'll be the next Mussolini. The owner agrees, and the new Italian waiter, as liberal and kind as he is, depending on the "distinctness" of your ethnicity, agrees as well.

Me too, I'm xenophobic, I remember, as a child in a small town in Saskatchewan, an entirely white childhood, 12 years old before I saw my first black person (in full tribal regalia, I felt I had stepped into a National Geographic magazine...), the population of the country has increased by ten million, or a third, since then, mostly through immigration, visible minorities overwhelm you everywhere you go, "round 'em all up" I say, "Starting with the Italians...".

2 Weeks, 4 Shifts to go. I can be a little free with my opinions...