sacrificial soul #5 in The Year of the Tire had given up the ghost after taking two nails right between the tread. my hopes of filling its limp body back up with air were shot once i had officially seen the carnage. the lady manning the AAA hotline informed me this was my last call of the membership year before they would have to start charging me. and it took this many times to finally have my membership card handy (after searching for the second set through a stack of mail on the counter... i use the term 'stack' loosely).
this year, i've become a regular pro at dealing with vehicular crises. gone are the times when i would be quickly brought to my knees in a tear-filled landslide when faced with a flat tire or a dead battery or a discombobulated temperature gauge or a brittle head gasket or an empty radiator. much like getting a shot several times in a row, i've learned to lose my trepidation and angst. i'm thankful to The Year of the Tire for bringing me to this place of automobile om like buddha leading a pilgrim to the bodhi tree.