Ever have one of those nights when you look around at the new scenery and ask how did I end up here? It happened to me last Saturday. Let’s go back to the night before when I arrived back in Ronkonkoma , paid for parking my car in the parking garage for the previous three days and took the elevator to the top floor. The car started and made a strange ripping metallic noise. The car was not popping out of park. Yes, it started I said since I called my mechanic and asked what he thought? Could be the shifter cable. Do you have a spare key? You can jam it down the shaft and unlock it. I didn’t have a spare key, but I had a long white plastic pen from Disney World. It didn’t pop. Do you have AAA? Yes. Give them a call and tow it here. OK, I called AAA and explained what happened. The rep tells me he can’t send out a mechanic. We only fix flats and jump start or two. That’s alright, I tell him. I can send a tow truck, he says. I explain I’m in a parking garage and this may be a problem. Why? He asked The ceiling is low. How low is the ceiling? I take him with me while he’s on the phone back down to where I paid and asked the attendant, how low the ceiling was. I don’t know, but if you walk out to the front of the building, there is a sign. I walk out and see the sign and tell the representative it’s six foot nine. That’s too short he tells me. I call my mechanic back. Well, we can go back in the morning and tow it out of there. Do you have a ride home? I do. I called Ali and finally got home around eight. My dinner was cold, but so was the beer. But this story doesn’t end there. Saturday morning my mechanic is busy, but later this afternoon, he should be free. At three o’clock I’m driving back to the train station with his assistant, Nick who is quiet. In the back seat is a large brown lab. Nick is quiet so I became the annoying customer, the crazy passenger he wished he’d never had next to him. I ask him pointless questions, where did you go to high school? How long have you been a mechanic? If you have an annoying passenger, you put the radio on. Nick did not put the radio on. Maybe he enjoyed the attention? I asked more questions until we made it to the station and barely make it under the low ceiling in the Suburban with a U-Haul car tow attached. I start the car. Nick opens the shift cover with a long screw driver and unlocks the shift and gets the car in reverse. Do you want it towed? No, thank you. Did he want me next to him on the ride back? I drive back to the garage and my mechanic goes to work. He tells me, I’ll call you when it’s done. An hour or so passes and I get the call. Ali drives me to the bank where I get the cash. He asks, want a beer? It was a warm day and I could use a beer. Sure. I can drink one before dinner. There’s a kid cleaning out the bay and I recall one of my first jobs when I was 14, cleaning out bays on a Saturday night back in Northport. The scent of oil, slicked concrete and the kitty litter which I’d use to dry up the oil and grease. I left that place spotless. The greasy little shit mechanic who did not clean up after himself had me fired since the owner thought I left the shop a mess. The little shit came to school and told me I was fired. I wanted to kick his ass. Back to last Saturday; my mechanic has boats and motorcycles and an old truck which he converted into a hot rod. After a few…many… Bud Lites, tossing the bottle caps and throwing the bottles in the trash, bull shitting about life and music and more beers, it was time to have a contest. What kind of contest? Shoot the empty bottles with a pellet gun. I have not shot a gun in a long time, but I had a BB gun. I shot a 22 as well as a cop’s service pistol in the parking lot at Shea Stadium (making sure there were no jets approaching) Back to the contest…he tells me to use the scope, but don’t let it get too close to your eye, “it will smack ya.” First shot was a miss. The second shot splattered the brown glass bottle. I felt pretty good. Next we had a contest with actual paper bull’s eye with points for each circle. The paper was stabled onto a wooden board. We put some money down. I lost the first round, but grabbed the loot on the second and the sober Nick took the third. Can I drive your truck? Sure. He’s leaning in the small cab and telling me not to fuck up his truck. I was shivering, partly cause it was a cold night and I didn’t want to rip the ferocious truck into a gas pump. I floored it and made it back in one piece. It was after ten and I received a text? Hello? I’m hanging out I texted. We sang out loud to The Doors, Roadhouse Blues, and whatever else came on. You were in a band? I was in a band. It was a long time ago. I hung out for almost four more hours and made my way back to my repaired car and bid my new friend a good night. When I got in Ali was sleeping. I thought I made it back and could tell her in the morning, it was a late night and leave it at that. To my surprise I got up without a terrible hangover and came to the kitchen. What time did you get in? It was a late one, I said. Emma said it was either after 12 or 2 AM. Emma chimed in; I know there was a 2 when I looked at the clock. The second one I said and left it at that.