I got back to my car after a quick five minutes getting coffee at Mid City this morning. It had put a quarter in the meter to get me eight minutes, so I was surprised to see the flash of pink flapping from underneath my windshield wiper. Maybe I parked somewhere weird yesterday and didn’t notice the ticket til just now? That wasn’t the case, though — apparently my inspection expired on February 18. The D.C. DMV just does an emissions test on the car, and it happens every two years, so I hadn’t thought about it. Also I’ve moved so many times in that two years that any notice they might have sent me — apparently they send one 60 days in advance — was delivered to a past residence.
This is annoying on multiple levels. First, I have to pay this $50 parking ticket. Second, I have to pay the $35 inspection fee and a $20 late fee. Third, I have to go to the inspection place (aka hell) as soon as possible, which means Tuesday at 7am.
Inconvenience aside, I hadn’t realized until this morning that the blue sticker on my windshield had a date on it. And maybe it’s because the date coincides with the last time Clark really accomplished anything errands-related before he got really sick. And I remember the day, which was apparently February 18, 2009, that he went to get the car inspected, and we were so relieved that it passed because there was no way either of us was going to be able to fix the car and take it back for re-inspection. He was doubled over in pain when he got to the place; I remember him calling me at work to tell me how much his stomach hurt. I remember thinking, please just get this one thing done. Him being able to get that done meant, to me, that I could go on believing his pain was due to acid reflux. That he was being a baby about it.
Once the task was complete, I remember him surrendering. Getting that car’s stamp of approval was the last thing he felt he needed to get done (the car, with its Virginia tags and the mounting parking tickets, was beginning to take its toll on our nerves). This was two days before he went into the hospital for emergency surgery on his belly.
Then I find an email in my inbox, a plea to my coworkers at the 9:30 Club — someone take my shift, please.
Clark had an emergency surgery on Friday to remove a tumor in his gut that doctors found on Thursday. Everything went well, and the tumor is already looking like it’s going to be the one to make his treatment! But, he’s going to be in the hospital for about a week because they dealt with some intestines and everything’s got to be back in … working order … ahem … before they let him out.
So here we go again. Box 2 on Saturday, any takers? It’s Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys, 8 pm doors. If you can do it, I’ll be able to cover again come March.
It’s astounding to me now how nonchalant this email is, how I had to keep my cool to deal with the weight of this surprise. “Here we go again,” I say, so casually.