November 22, 2005
We went to the automatic car-wash Wednesday to wash the car, put the bra on and then not think about it. We had to take our bikes in for check-ups Thursday anyway. The "touchless" carwash decided to get stuck on our car. The soap ate through some paint by the time I got to the manual carwash to wash it off. And I noticed that some coal that blew out of the powerplant at school did a sand-paper job on the front of the car last week. Fucking hell. Not to mention what a bitch the lady at the gas station was about the whole thing. You know, I'm sorry your expensive piece of shit of a machine fucked my car up. Sorry! The wife and I were talking about how much we wanted to get rid of the car next year anyway, just the day before. But the loss on the sale would equal paying for it for a year. So we though, Okay, we'll just keep an expensive car we don't need or want. But I got pissed Wednesday. Really pissed. So we decided to get rid of the car as soon as we get back from Thanksgiving break, start saving money for our last months in the Dale and just bike around. When I rode my bike Thursday downtown to the shop and then home again in the evening, I had the same big stupid smile on my face that I had the day we bought them, when we thought we were getting rid of the car. (I call it my Bike Smile.) The decision to keep the car has never sat right with me, and I feel guilty for driving to school and good for biking. So that should tell me something. Thursday, I woke up, feeling better about getting rid of a car I'm sick of owning, worrying about and paying for. And, I'll say this, too: sick of driving. Carbondale drivers make driving in Washington D.C. at rushhour on a Friday seem like fun. I'm sorry. Maybe it's not the locals but the kids at school or the people from out of town who come to the "city" and have no idea how to drive around other people. Whichever, driving in Carbondale is scary. I've driven there and in D.C. enough times to know this. Being stuck in traffic is better than almost dying at the hands of someone who never pays attention to the people they walk into at Wal-Mart, let alone the people they almost run over in their big-assed land-yachts. I didn't want to drive to Baltimore on an hour or two of sleep Friday. I was too keyed-up to sleep. So I announced that I wanted to leave forthwith. Damn. Right away. As in, it was 11:00 p.m., and I wanted to drive nearly half-way across the country non-stop right away. And I did. On the way, the damned Focus got hit with tons and tons of rocks from asshole truckers who can't even do what they do for a living (drive) properly. Mind you, I love truckers. I'm talking about like one in a hundred that drive like assholes and will probably kill someone one day. I drank enough coffee (some good, like from 24-hour Starbucks, some terrible) to kill several horses, I think, provided said horses are not caffeinated to the extent that I am. I only almost fell asleep once, and that's not my fault. It's Ohio's fault. Thank you. We saw three wrecks. The first was some little white boy in a Neon with a damned wing on it. I said outloud, as he passed us on the right in Columbus rush-hour traffic, "Damn, dude, it's only a Neon," as in, "you're going to blow up your small car driving like that and I should know since I'm driving one." A minute later, he was in the far left lane, having totalled the damned thing on the back of a very nice pickup truck. He was Okay, though. Standing, not bleeding. Another was I don't remember where. There was a Land Rover with a wheel missing, the windows smashed and the other wheels buckled in. There was no one there, save for a state trooper directing everyone around it. The people were gone. Don't know if they were hurt, dead or Okay. But their luggage was in the trunk still, and it made me feel sick. After everything that happened to the car and the two accidents, I decided to accept three wrecks as a sign/indication that we should indeed get rid of our car as fast as we can. The third accident we saw was when we were only an hour from Baltimore, and we were stuck there for well over an hour. The chopper came three times. When we finally passed, we saw too mangled wrecks of what used to be cars (one with the roof cut off) and someone's body under a white sheet, with their feet sticking out. We drove the rest of the way in almost total silence, and I won't be sad if I never drive a car again.