Vehicle Maintenance by Patricia J. Hale

If the guys knew, I’d be a dead man.

 

Sure, I can keep up appearances.  I lift weights, fart, belch like a bad-ass and talk a good story when I need to.  I keep a piece in my drawer, loaded.  Don’t need any friends.

 

They don’t know the truth.

 

I started doing it about a year after I started at the garage.

 

I didn’t do it at the other garage I worked at.  But this place is different.  We fix emergency vehicles.  The opportunity just presented itself. 

 

Mitch, one of the other guys who works here almost caught me the other day.  I can’t take chances anymore.  Got to start doing it in the off hours.  Park my car around the back to avoid appearances.

 

I only wish I could stop.  Don’t think I haven’t tried.  It’s costing me money, for Chrissakes!  Wonder what stupid thing in my upbringing or my DNA causes me to act this way.  I’d consider therapy, but it would just make things worse.

 

Someone’s got to have seen it already, but nobody’s confronted me.  They’re probably talking behind my back, setting me up for some kind of hit.

 

I’m growing more paranoid by the day.  This has got to stop.  Now. 

 

Well, after today.  This is the last time.  Fuck, I mean it!

 

I always do it the same way.  First, we fix the vehicle.  I’m the last one to inspect the fix.  Doesn’t matter what we did to it, I’m the last. 

 

The guys go out for smokes, then off to the nearby dive for drinks anticipating the money they’ll overcharge for the fix.

 

The deal is:  I do my inspection and join them later, that way they pressure me to avoid finding any problems that they have to correct.

 

That’s when it happens.

 

So I do my inspection, playing the game of never finding any issues with their feeble fixes.  That’s a given.  No sweat.  No perversion.  Whatever, I don’t care if we see the vehicle again the next day.

 

But at the end of the inspection, I can’t stop myself.  I go over to my locker where I keep the stash.  I reach in and pick out a couple of them.  They go into the back, where the EMTs can’t miss them.  If they get kids in the vehicle, they’re set.  No they don’t have to have it, there’s no real reason for me to do it.  We’ve covered that.

 

Toys.  For the kids.  Distraction when they’re sick or broken.  

 

Yeah, I know.  I’m the one who’s sick.

I write because I can’t stop myself.  My husband can’t stop me either.  Reach me at patriciajhale@aol.com.  Especially with paying gigs.

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3 responses to “Vehicle Maintenance by Patricia J. Hale

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