By James Breckenridge. I don’t know what it is with me and cars these days …

… but they have become The Bane of my mental health, of my existence.

I stayed to help the volunteer clean up after Bingo on Wednesday July 2, 2014. My personal policy is to keep my karma balance with as solid a positive balance as possible. Unfortunately Tuesday was apparently a ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ day.

I was headed to the Library and then home but as I shifted gears turning off Essendene onto Montvue there was the sound of mechanical mayhem and while the engine was running, no motivation was being delivered to the wheels.

I managed to glide into a parking spot in front of the Fraser Valley Inn; but no joy – the automobile remained unmotivated to move.

Getting out of the car I stood there looking at HUB – so near and yet so far – and thinking about the $45 – $60 to be towed a single very short block to HUB. ##@!!!&%^$## I thought to myself, getting into the car, starting the engine [so I can easily steer] and beginning to work the car into traffic.

Two gentlemen stepped off the side walk, telling me to put on my hazard lights and pushing me out into traffic and into a u-turn headed in the direction of HUB.

I got around the corner onto Essendene, popped out of the car and put my shoulder to the door frame to keep the car rolling when a gentleman in a pick-up truck whips into HUB and he and his passenger pop out and hustle over to help push the car into HUB.

Two separate times people stepped forward and lent a push. It is this kind of help appearing that is why I consider it wise to keep my Karma account with a solid positive balance.

I suppose it should have been no surprise when Balance had some ill-mannered lout accelerating away when the traffic signals on Essendene turned to green, clearly bent on denying me the left turn into HUB motors without having to stop, then start, the car rolling.

With the transmission probably gone, the car likely toast and worth only scrap value – the condition of my car was a matter of complete indifference to me. Indeed, the only useful purpose the car seemed capable of achieving was to deliver a lesson in the wisdom of manners.

Wisely the lout apparently recognized the kamikaze nature of the situation and wisely decided not to play chicken.

I got the car parked and spoke to the HUB staff about them checking to see if it is something [relatively] cheap and worth fixing. I also arranged to leave the car there for a day or two if the problem – the car – is not worth the cost to fix; a state of affairs which would leave me scrambling to find a replacement and perhaps looking to find short term replacement transportation.

Having dealt with The Bane to the extent I could at that point in time, I set off to walk down Gladys to the Salvation Army and access a phone, phone book and computer to get a ride home and start spreading the news of my quest for affordable and [please, please, please, please, please] dependable transportation.

While it is not a long distance the walk became a matter of focusing on the destination and purpose and coping with the rising level of pain as my right leg became a burning pain and my back turned my steps into grinding torture.

Adding insult to injury an internal nattering nabob of negativism manifested and started berating me [myself?] for not bringing one of the canes I keep in the car for more than short walks or periods of time on my feet without a chance to sit; a nattering stream of negativism into which occasional comments of catastrophe and Auto Destruction of my Life were injected.

Oh Joy. On the upside, the pain that would be involved in stepping off the sidewalk onto the roadway means I have no urge to go play in traffic.

I got to the Salvation Army at 5 pm, the beginning of the Intake shift at the emergency shelter, and find Mike there having just given Steve a ride to work. The door opens revealing Steve and Cliff and I explain about the probable demise of The Bane and ask them to keep their eyes and ears open for an automobile and to spread the word of my critical need for a car at a marvelous price.

I stepped through the door to head for the office for the computer and phone when Steve suggests I get a ride with Mike – who is just pulling away. A hot day means Mike has the windows down, hears me as I shout forth his name and grants my plea for a ride home.

We swing by HUB to leave them the Keys so they can make sure it is not something easy, simple and affordable to fix – at 4:32 PM PST Thursday July 3, 2014 the call confirming the demise of my transport vehicle was received – and Mike dropped me at my place.

I am thinking a beer sounds good, and six sounds even better. So I have a coke. Sit in front of the fan and read a Calvin and Hobb’s collection I found at a thrift store for a dollar.

Letting my mind process the $$$##@***&^)($!!!!@!!!* Car.

Sign James

When my mind wondered if Vancity’s decision to offer payday loans to help people escape the clutches of those blood sucking leeches Money Mart, Moneytree et al might mean I can get a modest car loan???????……I know I am ready to start dealing with the The Bane and the BLEEP hitting the FAN.

I moved to the computer to begin to set down this latest chapter of my transportation tribulations and the Universe’s ongoing offensive against my sanity. Paranoid? No, at this point in time there would appear to be evidence attesting to the Universe’s use of transportation tribulations – car problems – to test my mental mettle.

Writing about this latest transportation tribulation helps me to vent, to process and to accept that the car is dead; prepares me mentally to deal with disposing of the dead coupe’s remains, finding a replacement and somehow managing to finance the purchase.

More importantly writing about the situation allows me to network and spread the call for aid in finding a replacement for my prior transportation that has shown a complete lack of consideration in becoming a scrap metal sculpture.

Sigh! I had just finished repaying the money used to purchase The Bane and was on track to full financial recovery from the effects of needing to replace my prior Bane.

Then Kablooee! All that financial pain and discipline is blown up by a blown transmission and the spectre of homelessness looms once again.

The real danger of not having a vehicle is not that I might not make it to Monday’s appointment with the psychiatrist or incur a fine for returning library books late or other annoyances arising from my loss of personal transportation.

The real danger is being trapped at home with my thoughts and within my mind. A component of my Wellness Recovery Action Plan is getting out of my place when I begin to brood and my thoughts turn to the dark side.

With my car having died I am not only trapped at home, but my car woes provide a focus to brood on, to feel sorry for myself, to catastrophizing, a trap of negativism, of not getting out of bed …

Hark! I seek aid in accomplishing a successful conclusion to:

The Search for A Vehicle for James.

If you know of a vehicle or can help in any manner, email

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