Last October I rented a car with Renee for a week from the Fiumicino Airport near Rome that we used to drive through Napoli and along the Amalfi Coast. One night, in and around Nerano, a little silly, we went on a search for the ideal place to park the car and sleep. It was VW Golf, not quite a compact car, and the winding streets were often at a 45 degree angle and would barely fit three rugby players standing shoulder to shoulder. We had to fold the side mirrors and inch our way through many of the alleys. Renee completely trusted my channeling of Mario Andretti and although we didn’t find a new spot to sleep (we had already found a pretty great spot earlier in the evening and this was more adventure for its own sake), we managed to escape the labyrinth of barking dogs and angsty graffiti with only a 2cm scratch on the rear passenger side door. Tiny. Doesn’t even count as damage in the rental contract.
Weh-he-helllll, let me tell you. A few days after returning the car and to Brussels I got an email from the rental company, LOCAUTO (Please let this be a warning to anyone considering renting from them. DO NOT!), that said I owed them almost 700 EUR in damages and fees. Clearly confused, I wrote back, the only way, of course, was through a complaint box on their website. I am a bit tired of relaying this story, but to sum up, they tried to charge me for damages that were already present when I rented the car. The scratch that I returned it with was not even shown on the report. Because I was getting no where with their damned complaint box I turned to my credit card company to investigate. They reversed the charges and I hadn’t heard back from them for a few months. Done and done!
Not done. Last week I received an email from a collection agency in Italy informing me that I now owe 869 EUR for interest and fees. Ha! War. I filled an application for a small claims suit against them on Monday, but decided that since I now had a contact, despite that it was a third party and a collection agency, I would make one last attempt at resolving this before filing. I sent an email explaining my case to the collection agency, encouraged by a friend who had good dialogic experiences with these agencies (albeit in Belgium, and not the mafioso). That was Wednesday morning and I still have not heard back from them two days later.
Now yesterday, while waiting in the office of my unemployment syndicate I was reading an article in the SUN magazine that Renee had left me. It was titled “What Did You Dream Last Night?”. Great interview with dream specialist, Marc Ian Barasch. He speaks about how we need to pay attention to our dreams, that our subconscious is smart and catches things our conscious brain misses. Last night I fell asleep early. Around 11:30 PM. That is my early. I woke up to a dream:
I was returning to my apartment where a friend who was staying at my place(forget who) was packing up and leaving to stay somewhere else. She was afraid because two men had busted in and taken all my books and my computer speakers. They, interestingly, left my computer and everything else, and had left me a desk, which they placed the computer on next to my couch. It seemed they wanted the shock of seeing my wall shelf completely empty, which was actually kind of pleasing to my senses to see. Ha! Well, this friend was certainly rattled and I understood, but I simply knew I had to prepare for their next visit. It was clearly the collection agency trying to bully me.
It was 3:30 AM when I when I woke from this dream. I laid in bed for a few moments. Then I got up, returning with a heavy frying pan, my Bear Grylls Survival knife, and scenes from Deadpool rolling in my head. I think I’ll file that suit on Monday.