Saturday, April 21, 2018

I'll Sell Plasma--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Saturday, May 4

     Blake was supposed to come home today for the summer, but instead of texting me when he hit the road, he called.
     “My car is acting funny,” he said. “It stalls every time I shift into third gear. I’m also low on gas. So I don’t know. Maybe the gas has something to do with it.”
    “Fill your tank.”
     “Dad gave me a Mobil card but there aren’t any Mobil stations in Marquette, and I don’t have any money.”
     “You don’t have money?”
     “I don’t have any.”
     “Why didn’t you ask me to transfer some into your account.”
     “I closed that account. And I hate asking you for money. Haven’t you noticed I never ask?”
     “I figured you were getting it from Dad.”
     “I’ll give you a credit card number.”
     “My friend tried to do that and none of the gas stations would let him.”
     “Then you’ll have to flop at someone’s apartment until I can send you a check. It didn’t it occur to you school was ending, you were broke, and you had no gas?”
     “I’ll sell plasma. The plasma bank will give me twenty bucks. Then I can get on the road and find a Mobil station.”
     I started laughing. “I used to tell Nana that so she’d send me money in college. You’re not really going to sell plasma, are you?”
     “I’ve done it four or five times. My friends do it.”
     “Don’t do that. Ask me for money when you need it. Drive your car to the station where you got it fixed and I paid over the phone. Have them look at your car and put gas in the tank. They’ll take my credit card number.”
     A little while later, my phone rang.
     “My car won’t go at all now,” Blake said. “I’m stuck on top of a hill.”
     “You ran out of gas?” I laughed.
     “You never ran out of gas in your life?”
     “On the highway. When you were a baby.”
     Blake started laughing. “Great mother.”
     “Get someone to help you. Or walk to a gas station and buy a container of gas.”
     Blake called two hours later.
     “I found a gas station that took your number. My car is running, but it catches. I’m going to stay at a friend’s house tonight and leave tomorrow since it’s late.”
     “Drive your car around for awhile. Don’t just park it. See if it stops catching. You want it running well before you leave.”
     While I was talking to Blake, my friend Jim stopped by with his young adult sci-fi novel. I’m proof reading it in exchange for him rebuilding my website.
     “What’s Blake going to do if he runs into more trouble?” Jim grimaced.
     “He’s twenty. He has my credit card number. He’ll figure it out.”
     I felt like I needed a recovery meeting. I texted Playboy Pete to see if he was going to the 8:30 and he was. We ate dinner at a steak house afterward.
     “I was with my girlfriend when you texted,” Pete laughed. “I told her she was on her own tonight. Your getting divorced is an answer to my prayers.”
     I rolled my eyes. “How old is your girlfriend?”
     “God!” I laughed. “How do you get those young things to go out with you? Is she living with you, too?”
     Pete winked. I groaned. Pete was in his seventies. He was living with a stripper when I met him ten years ago.

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