In spite of naysayers saying nay, I took Justice in to get fixed last night. After 3 weeks of idly leaking gas on the parking lot, she started up much more easily than I expected and made it to the shop with no trouble. This morning the mechanic called with a $560 estimate (for those of you keeping track, that's $290 less than the original) and just called to say she's ready to go.
I realize she's too old to put work into, but the stress and the pressure of not having a car on top of the stress and pressure of looking for a car was too much. Now at least I can continue car shopping and the rest of my life can resume as normal (going to the gym, not bumming rides, actually getting some use out of my monthly parking fees). And if I continue to be as vigilant in the car search as I have been, I'll have a new car before Justice dies and will be able to sell her for at least a few hundred bucks. I'm bound and determined to get a car with a stick shift this time so I can finally master it, and maybe I'll hold on to Justice for a little while after I get the new one to ease the transition. Who knows.
Less than a half hour after I told the mechanic to do the work, the perfect little Cabrio appeared on AutoTrader, which I'll be making a trip out to see tomorrow. The possibility of me replacing Justice soon is high, and in spite of a seeming loss, the level of anxiety I was feeling was not worth $500. I would love for this Cabrio to be it and this all to be over.