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Friday, August 31, 2001

Anyone as non-mechanical as I am should probably have a more reliable vehicle. My Honda has been great, but it's thirteen years old. It's roamed the highways and byways in three different decades (not to mention two centuries). My mechanic insists that the rattling sound coming from underneath is no problem, as long as it only happens when I turn. When it starts doing that on the straightaway, he advises me to pull over and leave the car wherever it expires.

That's why I'm home for this long weekend, instead of on the houseboat at Shasta Lake. My Honda might make it all the way up there, but if something happened, I'd be the last person to know how to deal with it. I could have bummed a ride, as long as I could leave last night, but I didn't think I could take another day off. I was probably wrong about that, since today was a quiet one. I can't help thinking that I blew it.

Most of the time it's hard for me to justify investing in a new car. That's because most of the time I don't go anywhere. Many days, the only time I fire up the engine is for the seven-mile round trip to the post office. (If it was any closer would be my daily power walk, and I'd never get the car out of the garage). I think I used the car more when I lived in town than I do out here in the country, miles from any supermarket or movie theater (or the place I catch the bus to go to Pacific Bell Park).

Since I found out I'm going to be around for awhile, it's become obvious I'm not going to get by for the rest of my life without a new car. I'm not a good shopper, but I'm a terrible car shopper. I can't handle the games dealers play, and my resistance to a strong sales pitch is dismally low. I'm liable to buy the first car I look at from the first salesperson I talk to, at the first price quoted. That's why I'll hang onto what I've got for as long as it holds together.

it's pink; that's all I know

The newest flower in the garden.

Even if I cheated myself out of a weekend at the lake, I have no intention of staying home all three days. A little variety is what I need, a view of the world from some other vantage point. I feel as if I've been a little too insular and remote lately. I've also felt just the tiniest bit stir-crazy, so tomorrow I'll hop in the Honda and see where it takes me (and hope it gets me back home again).

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