Tina Kakadelis
YA Author


Burn Before Reading: A Carly Allen Story

Thoughts from a Waiting Room


It's been a wild weekend since we last talked on FriGAY. I worked all week, went up to LA, spent too much money at Amoeba made responsible monetary choices, and then, right after I FaceTimed my friends in Florida, tragedy struck. Not an actual tragedy and I understand that my problems are first world problems, but please indulge me.

So, I was holding my laptop in my hand and had my water bottle tucked in the crook of my arm. I leaned down to pick something off the floor and found out the water bottle was open. You can imagine how well I handled that experience. I called Apple's help line and the dude was so unhelpful. He commiserated and was like yeah that blows. And I was like yeah bro you're telling me but what the hell should I do about it. I asked if I should take it in to a Genius Bar and he was like maybe just get one of those pressurized air keyboard cleaners. I was like okay does that work and he was like I used it on my keyboard that I spilled water on, but I ended up having to replace it.

Thanks, man, for that entirely useless bit of information.

So I now have a bum computer and a Genius Bar appointment this evening. Before we even get to that fun, I first have to work and then get my smog test. California makes you jump through some HOOPS to get your car registered here.

Which is where I am now; in the waiting room of an automotive shop with a weird cat pun in the name. It's just me and two old dudes wearing flip flops here waiting for our cars. In honor of my suffering, I'm going to tell you the story of how my friend, Melanie, and I tried to see a concert.

This was back in October and I had plans to visit another friend in Texas to go to the Austin City Limits festival. I learned during that experience that I am not a festival person. I've gone to Warped Tour two or three times and each time, I'm like I will never go to another music festival. Yet, there I always am, at another festival. Listen, in theory, they're great. Whole bunch of great bands in one day. However, when the day comes around, it's always hotter than hell and the one band you're dying to see is the last one of the night. The picture for today comes from me at ACL wearing pants like an IDIOT waiting until Haim's set at 8 pm. Clearly, I was suffering.

Anyway, so Melanie and I are big fans of the Summer Set. We saw them in concert in Florida when we were going to school and then she flew up to Pittsburgh on a whim to see them after we graduated. There was a Summer Set concert date the day I was due to fly home from Austin. Jokingly, I was like what if I just flew to Florida instead. Lo and behold it was somehow cheaper for me to fly from Austin to Orlando, spend two days there, before flying to Pittsburgh rather than a direct flight from Austin to Pittsburgh. It was a done deal.

I land in the early afternoon and Melanie picks me up from the airport. Melanie drives a shoebox of a car. It's basically a skateboard with a convertible roof on it. So we cram my luggage in her tiny trunk and we're off to Disney World before the concert. Then, tragedy strikes.

Her car gets a flat and we are stuck on a shoulder in Disney World. AAA is being uncooperative because we don't have a mile marker or any distinguishing features to help find us, but after an hour or so, the sweetest guy shows up to help us change the tire. The dude gives us cold bottled water and makes jokes with us the whole. Shoutout to you, bro, but I'm sorry I forgot your name.

The plan was to ride the donut to a tire place to get a new one. I don't recommend driving 35 mph on I-4 in a tiny lil car with a donut. It was horrifying, but because Florida makes no sense, we didn't really have any other option to get to the tire place. Once we do get there, we find out they don't actually have the tire she needs. After like three hours of going back and forth, calling her dad, calling other tire places, calling everyone, maybe having to rent a car, and possibly missing the concert, a plan is finally figured out. We'd take the spare off, get a temporary new tire, and then she'd have to go to the tire place in her hometown in a week to get the right tire.

I know. What a time. But we made it to the show and got front row. I'm councidentally wearing the t-shirt I bought from that concert right now. (I did not plan this. Do you think I have the motivation or energy to plan cute coincidental things like this when I have to be at work at 4 A.M.?) What a small world.

That's all I've got for today. Fingers crossed my car passes the smog check and that my poor sweet laptop gets revived later today. Here's to you, Melanie. Hope we can hang out soon. Preferably not in the waiting room of an auto shop.