If it has tires…

“If it has tires or testicles, it’s sure to be trouble.” Said the sign I saw in a women’s apparel shop down South. To which, I would add, “tires, testicles and a hard drive,” but that spoils the alliteration. But all three of those things will break your heart at one time or another, if you’re a heterosexual woman, and right now I’m singing the automobile blues. Why?—those of you who saw my sparkly new ride on Facebook last week may ask. Well, here’s the thing: The car’s a lease, not an outright purchase. To get the best payment rate, we are limited to only driving the thing 10,000 miles a year. Which would be fine if I only drove it the five miles and back to work, but I was planning on taking it on my ‘spiritual journey’ to Kentucky early next month, so I had to do a lot of un-spiritual calculating to see if I could pull it off. Moreover, I do a fair amount of driving—up to Connecticut to see family, down to the shore to see the beach, and sometimes out to Pennsylvania or upstate New York on a ‘Sunday’ drive. I try not to drive too much since I know it’s not good for the environment. But I have a weird sort of spiritual nature, and I find driving a quiet road amid beautiful scenery a soulful kind of experience. Combine it with some good music, it’s almost transcendent. It’s a tricky endeavor, to remain completely alert and ready to react in a moment’s notice to road conditions, yet fall into the kind of peaceful Zen a road trip can produce. Ten thousand miles a year doesn’t allow for a lot of Zen driving.

I thought I would have my old beat-up Chevy with 180,000 miles on it to fall back on—it’s practically worthless (we were offered $200 as trade-in value) but it still runs. At least I thought it did: The very  day after returning from the car dealership with the new car, I tried to start the old one, only to hear that sickening grinding sound, then silence. It was as if, in an act of spiteful jealously, the old car suddenly decided to give up the ghost in a most inconvenient way. Not good news for my grown daughter, who was set to inherit the old heap and drive it to her new home in Boston. But maybe we can resuscitate it.

And speaking of Facebook and cars…I’d like to know why my most heartfelt blog posts there are largely ignored (except by the few, most loyal of friends)yet when I post a picture of a new car, I’m deluged with ‘likes’. Forget writing; I’m just going to buy a new car every few months! That seems like the path to popularity…

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