Point of View: The Starter Motor

But the sources of affective breakdowns can be less transparent

   So there I was in One-Stop’s parking lot, depowered because of a dead starter motor, and, oddly, it was pretty much a replay of what had happened in November during the time of Hurricane Sandy, I told Bill Hall, who had come out with the screwdriver that a helpful coast guardsman had asked for, thinking there remained some hope that the car could be revived.
    “I think it was in this same parking spot that it happened the last time,” I said to Bill. “Your son Ben gave me a ride.”
    “Well, it could have been worse,” said the popular store’s owner. “It’s a beautiful day, Vinnie Balcuns is on his way. . . .”
    “And the Red Sox are in first place,” I said, knowing that that’s his team.
    Steve Wesnofske of East Hampton Auto Radiator confirmed the diagnosis the next day: a new starter motor was needed.
    Marriages, it occurred to me, need them every now and then too.
    The coast guardsman had been very clear in his explanation as to what the starter motor and the solenoid did — so clear, in fact, that I told him he ought to teach a basic auto mechanics class to dweebs like me.
    But the sources of affective breakdowns can be less transparent — veiled as they often are in the days of childhood. So, tempers rise, things are said, a disconnect occurs, and, with emotions wrung out, ennui sets in.
    Love has broken down, on a beautiful day, in a beautiful place. It’s all very puzzling, and saddening. All you want to do is sleep. Forever, maybe. And the helpful coast guardsman is nowhere to be seen.
    You know what needs to be done: The starter motor needs replacing.
    It’s another beautiful day in Bonac, the part’s on order, the Red Sox are still in first place, and soon we’ll be on our way.