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Car Pain Diem, a story by Jay Nathan Schwartz

31 Jul 2023 7:43 PM | Sarah Klose (Administrator)

Ok, so Dirk was about to experience the worst, most disappointing day of his life. But he was clueless when he awoke bright and early on a warm sunny day, that he’d be traveling full speed into an insurmountable pile of challenges. He rolled over, kissed his frisky Tinder date good morning, and poured her a cup of Java Jive. After she left for work, he made his way downtown in his $500,000 limited edition Lamborghini and entered the parking garage. He gradually worked his way up to the trading floor, where his assistant presented the day’s market digest. By all accounts, his positions looked good and afforded opportunities for lucrative market corrections. However, all was not rosy in Dodge that day. By the opening bell it dawned on him that something went seriously astray, & that his short positions, taken to make him a fortune, would soon lead him to dire straights. In just the 1st 10 minutes he cringed while his portfolio tanked down to zero! In plain English: he was up the creek without a paddle.

His upbeat assessment of the day’s promise quickly morphed into horror and disbelief. He couldn’t recall doing this much damage to himself since he was a young boy, when he threw some stones so close to his father’s Chevy that the actually shattered the entire windshield! He envisioned that day, and the sly pride he had that he could do so much destruction with so little effort! It was a boy’s career defining accomplishment. And, when he woke his dad up from his nap to update him on what had happened, all he could muster was: “Ddaadd, that windshield?” “Yes, son, what about it,” flashing some perceptible sign of concern. “Well, Dad, it’s just not very good!” His father replied, “ok, now that you’ve awoken me from my slumber, let’s go out to see just how 'not very good’ my trusty windshield is! “ Upon seeing the scope of the disaster, his father’s jaw dropped, he turned both white and red at the same time, and promised his son a spanking! 

He, his mom, and little sister were fighting back chuckles the next day when Dad pulled out of the driveway with a windshield less car, imagining how many bugs would find a home in his teeth during the journey to work! Ah, the memories! Not to mention the savings each week from his meager allowance to pay for the new windshield. He had sworn then that someday he’d have money handy the next time an unforeseen expense happened upon him. Well, dear old Dad decided then to pave the driveway, so that it would be gravel free and and no longer tempting for his precocious son to practice pitching with a pile of stones.

After this memory began to fade, it slowly sunk in that he had lost his entire bankroll in that series of trades, lock, stock and barrel. After being assisted to the office by his clerks, he then became aware that he’d had an accident, and that it was difficult to hide in khaki trousers. He now couldn’t fathom the future. How would he pay his bills? Where would he live? Could he even afford to keep his Tinder account? After changing, he slumped into his chair, stared out the window, then slowly walked to the garage. That’s when it hit him: he’d now have to live in his car! Can you imagine trying to pack all of your possessions into the equivalent of a coupe sports car? But, 1st things 1st. It was time to hit the bar and strategize. He ordered the usual: a dry vodka martini with hot peppers and a twist of lime. And, as if this wasn’t sufficient, he ordered his favorite double cheese burger with everything, and a side of beans, and chased it down with a big pint of beer. By now, he was looking forward to the challenge of slaloming home in his car, and it wasn’t even noon. After half a block, he felt suddenly nauseous, and quickly pulled over. Before he could exit, he felt tectonic shifts in his innards, and heaved violently into his dashboard. When he was all through, he nearly marveled at the Jackson Pollock like appearance and the puke covered rear view mirror. Not to mention, the stench was so rancid, it was no help even opening the windows. This luxury car now smelled worse than a frat house on a Sunday morning. Oh yes, the vents on his state of the art sportster were now caked with vomit, and he feared this malodorous odor would require special attention to remedy it...

** To read the remainder of the story, go to Amazon at where it is available for purchase. Or, if you are an IWOC member and wish to read it for free, contact Jay at

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