A Reluctant Pedestrian
Moving out of my present residence might just have gotten postponed for a bit because there’s the distinct possibility that I may have blown up my car! Blown up as in the motor being completely destroyed, and do you think driving really fast without any fluids in the vehicle, as in water and oil, would make a difference on a 35 year old high performance engine? And yeah I know – bad car dude, bad car dude! It’s just that sometimes I tend to forget about those little things like checking the radiator fluid, or the oil, or the transmission, or those scheduled maintenance procedures like oil changes that sports cars seem to crave and constantly need in order for them to keep performing or at the very least allow them to actually run and go all fast and stuff!
So there I was busily kicking myself in the ass while I sheepishly drove my ailing car over to the mechanics, all the while mentally preparing for the toxic shock of what the cost to repair the damage that I’d done would run me. And you know the real problem was that I previously owned a god damn overly reliable Honda and to tell you the truth I don’t think that other than right after I bought the damn thing did I ever even bother to look in the radiator to see what the level of the antifreeze/water mixture was or any of that crap. Because the Honda just sorta ran all by itself and it held all its fluids like some battered mechanical camel and consequently I became spoiled or as some would say–lazy.
Yet my Datsun 240 Z wants me to go out every morning and hug it, as an act of faith or something, to show it some love, else it does things like it did last Friday, when I was on my way to work, and a tad late I might add. And some really ugly BMW was trying to pass me and tailgating my rear bumper in the fast lane and at this point do I really have to mention that I was driving at a very very high rate of speed? No, I didn’t think that I did. But anyway, back to this idiot in the beamer, who by the way had had it custom painted this obnoxious yellowy mustard green, which I found rather distasteful. And I’m sorta supposing here, now that I think about it from an thoroughly objective point of view, that that might have contributed to the fact that I wasn’t going to let him pass, well, that and he was trying so hard to outrace me and it was only 6:45am for Christ sake! And just when I was breaking the 120 mile an hour barrier there was this horrible hesitation and my car let out a slight groan and as I all of a sudden experienced a disturbing loss of power, that weasel in the BMW pulled around me and honked! Yeah the friggin’ mo-fo-in’ bastard with the bad taste for paint schemes honked, but I wasn’t really paying attention to him anymore because I was too involved with looking at the instrument panel and watching the temperature gauge peak all the way over to the right hand “hot” hemisphere side!
It’s times like these where you tend to have a moment of clarity, or at least you think you do, and as this was going to be no exception, I thought – hmmm, I wonder if there’s any water in the radiator? And then, seeing as I was out in the middle of nowhere, like not a god damn gas station or 7-11 or any semblance of civilization whatsoever for over 17 miles in either direction, I shrugged an “oh well” and slowed down to the required 65 mph and reluctantly crawled along the rest of the way to work thereby not only destroying my engine in the process but also the up till then wonderful nurturing relationship that my car and I had enjoyed!
Unfortunately that phone that was just ringing? Well that was the mechanic calling with the estimate and it appears that if I’m indeed gonna get this baby back up and running that I may not be able to afford to eat for the next few months. But in the end I will have a car that’s drivable. Only for a short period of time there’ll be no money to put gas in it, although look at the bright side: there’ll be no excessive use of those precious fluids either as it sits in the skuzzy alleyways out in front of my apartment building waiting for me to once again become financially solvent! And this all reminds me of the time when I was bitching at the woman who heads the Department of Parking and Traffic in San Francisco about the lack of legitimate parking places in my neighborhood and all the tickets that I accrued and she said, “Sir, have you ever considered that maybe you just can’t afford to own a car.” And I thought what an elitist statement that was, like sorry all you poor folk but if your annual income doesn’t allow for you to pay for a parking space and you gotta park your car on the streets thus getting parking tickets, well, then you obviously can’t afford a car in this city of ours!
Regrettably parking isn’t the only thing that I can’t afford in SF, and though like I said earlier I’m putting off moving until this car repair fiasco is history, it’s still going to be a miracle if there’s any available apartments whose rents aren’t astronomical! And isn’t it odd that where there’s the slightest bit of culture and community that prizes itself in political awareness that the average working class hero can’t afford to reside there? As if perspicacity has a price tag on it and if you desire to bask in the intelligentsia’s shining glory then you’ve got to sacrifice your material wealth as well as your comfort level.
Excuse me, but wouldn’t applying a bit of Marxist philosophy kinda fit here instead?
Yet at this point I’ve gotta continue to carry on or unrepaired my car will just lay out in the street only to be slowly stripped one chrome bit at a time until it’s a rusted hulk of its former self. A situation not so dissimilar from my own. And if I give up and sit down for the last time I may just expire all unfulfilled and unenlightened, which in the end is just like us all if we watch and wait for someone to come save us instead of doing something proactive. So you see, I’ve gotta get my car fixed so I can keep on going and so at least I’m not to blame for being the one who just stood by and watched it all go to shit!