If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either. Joseph Wood Krutch

Monday, September 17, 2007

A beauty to behold

There was quite a difference in our ages but I was still very much in love.  She had just come out of a long term relationship with my brother and, even though they had seemed in love and were quite inseparable, that ended suddenly in a big blow-up on the way to the store. My brother just walked away, left her sitting all by herself, and then called someone else to go get her. He didn't ever want to see her again and, looking back, I'm not sure I really blame him. They had been through a lot together. This was not the first time this had happened.  In fact, it was actually quite a frequent occurrence. When all the facts were laid out, it was always clearly her fault. But this final incident pushed my brother to the edge, and any love he had for her was gone. That's how I ended up in a relationship with her. 

I picked her up at my brothers place and she was there waiting in the parking lot of his apartment complex when I arrived. I drove her home and, despite her tendencies to blow up without warning,  I loved everything about her.  We would have several similar incidents over the next year or so, and more than once I also left her sitting alone, but I always went back for her. I understood her problems better than my brother did.  She had lived quite a fast life, had been quite abused in her early years and was just more sensitive than others. Years later I also found out she had some pretty nasty scars from being hit but she kept them covered very well with make-up.

I am no longer in love with cars. Not like I was with that 1965, bright orange, with black stripes and black interior Opel Kadett Rallye. She had been used for racing and the original owner had modified the engine in a way that dramatically increased oil pressure. This was great for the bearings and camshaft but it also meant changing oil pump gears and pan gaskets on a regular basis.  I never knew when the oil pump was going to blow and it always happened in the worst spot. But I had gotten her absolutely free from my brother and so she came cheap. My brother was  sick of her problems but I, being eighteen, fairly mechanically inclined, and "needing" wheels didn't care about her frequent blown oil pumps and pan gaskets. She was still a beauty to behold and I just kept a spare oil pump in the glovebox and tools in the trunk. It was a nuisance but wasn't really a problem.  After a small fender bender I discovered the entire drivers side quarter panel had been plastered with about three inches of bondo and then repainted.  The sight of those huge chunks of bondo on the pavement was hilarious and made a very small accident look like a major collision.

I still think of vehicles as necessities but they are just expensive  hunks of moving metal to me now and no longer a love interest. In many ways I have started to hate the automobile. They are troublesome and expensive.  I hate driving around town and enjoy riding transit and reading a book much better than driving most times.  In truth, I don't think automobiles are quite the necessity we all think they are.  Personally I've grown used to having a vehicle I can use at a moments notice because it eliminates the need to plan ahead and  leave a little earlier to get places by transit, bike or on foot but I am working to break myself of this bad habit. Perhaps the truth is that while I have fallen out of love with the automobile, I am still in in love with her twin sister, Convenience, and they are quite inseparable. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post. Michael and I don't own a car, but we do belong to Flexcar for those times when having 4 wheels is a necessity. Where we live, public transit is great and parking is a b***h.

BTW, I just ordered a Multi-Pure yesterday.

Also, I got mason jar lids. They fit on Classico and Safeway Select spaghetti sauce jars. Maybe others, but I haven't researched them all.