A few weeks ago, I had a run-in with a guardrail during a snowstorm, and took out one of my headlights/blinker things. I got it repaired. Sort of. I watched as the mechanic broke off two of the plastic bits that are supposed to hold the light in place. I watched him "secure" the lamp with a 4-inch strip of duct tape. My car is silver, so this doesn't seem so bad. Until tonight, when I was driving the speed limit on the highway and a burst of wind sent the lamp flying up and over my hood, smashing on the ground somewhere behind me. Sonofabitch.

At first, I didn't want to believe that's what it was. I couldn't stop and check. When I got off the highway, I stopped at a gas station. When I looked, the tape was there, but the light was gone. It had never worked—I don't think he connected the wires, either. I was just going to bring it to the mechanic's attention this weekend. The blinker never blinked, and the light never lit. And now, may it Rest In Pieces.

I do not think I should have to buy another light. I did nothing wrong. It was his faulty installation that caused it to fall out at 65 mph. It is a part that I believe he owes me. I've never liked giving him business. He is one of those people who my gut instinct tells me to flee from, but my parents have used him for years, and they trust him and whatever. He's a fall-down drunk and I just don't like him. But I took my car to him because he has a stockpile of parts for cars like mine. He had to order the light new, anyway. My mother tells me that I shouldn't take my car back to him to fix it, since I don't like him anyway. I told her that if I took it elsewhere, I'd have to pay for the light. Which is not something I'm willing to do at this point, since I believe it was his fault. What do you think? Will I have to pay for a new light either way? Should I just go someplace else? Or should I have him recognize and repair his faulty workmanship?

I sang to myself at the gas station, trying to keep my spirits up. As soon as I saw it, after I calmed down a bit, I decided to get a lotto ticket. Maybe this time, I'd be lucky. It's gotta happen, happen sometime. Maybe this time I'll win!