July 18th. Driving out of Newark again after a long day in the office. I hit a huge bump in the road, and lights go off in the dashboard with beeping. See below. I mean, it’s been a little over a week since my last flat tire in Newark. I couldn’t have multiple flat tires, could I?
I still don’t know what happened exactly, but something bad happened. Luckily, I didn’t have to change a tire that evening on a Newark side street. I was able to limp home at a slow speed down the NJ Turnpike, and yes, had to have the rear right tire replaced. Total cost of replacement tires this month, because of Newark NJ? $500.
And that, my friends, is why I’m not driving into Newark anymore. I’m done.
Stupid Newark, NJ.
Every so often, when I’ve had early morning meetings this month, I’ve been driving into Newark to park, then take the PATH train into the city. I started doing this a few months ago when I had 1st-2nd-3rd-round interviews in Manhattan, and I got into the habit of the convenience and comfort factor.
Driving to the parking lot, I rolled down my window to hear a very audible and ominous hissing sound. Yeah, it’s gotta be me. With no time to spare (I had an early morning meeting), I left my car with a flat tire in the lot and jetted for Newark Penn Station.
In the evening, I had to call AAA to help me change out the tire. I was in a suit, and it was way too hot in July for me to sweat it out like that. I should have taken a picture, but there were seven nails in the tired. Seven. Unbelievable. It ended up costing me about $250 for a new replacement tire.
You know what’s sad? We work, we work, and we work. We can get caught up with all that — all the work stuff, all the family stuff, other commitments, etc. Before you know it, years have gone by, and you haven’t seen your good friends for years. I’ve been friends with Gary and Regina since 2002 when I worked at New York Life in Audit. We hung out after work, we ate, we drank, we laughed until our sides hurt. Or at least I laughed until my sides hurt. If there is one thing I missed about working at New York Life, it was the good friends I had there.
Years passed, babies came, and I barely got to see them any more. I don’t think I had seen Regina in maybe 8 years. Seriously. Even though I worked in the city, and she worked in the city, but we were all so busy. Gary was often busy too, but I was at fault for not making enough effort to see him often enough.
Now that I’m not working, I had time on a Friday night to finally see these two. We met up at a bar in Midtown, visited his apartment nearby in Chelsea, had dinner out, and drank and talked and laughed until our sides hurt. It was like 10 or 11 years had never happened. Those are the types of friends — great friends — that you don’t let go of.