she’s got wheels, and knows how to use them

We rented a car, this week that my friend Rod is visiting. It is easy for me to get around this little town on my little blue bike, but I think in hundred degree heat it is best for me to not try and give my friend a piggy back ride while I veer down the street and crash into a storefront and lacerate us both into tiny little bits that burst into flames under the hot, hot sun. And it is much, much too hot to walk anywhere. And waiting for the bus in the heat is gross and sweaty and the buses are filled with the crazy and take a long time to get anywhere. And I am both impatient and lazy. And so we rented a car.

Renting a car was the best idea ever–Rod says, “I finished my book on the plane!” and I say, “Let’s go to the book store!” and we are in the car and there in a flash. Rod says, “Hey, what kind of fast food do you have here that we don’t have in New York?” and I say, “Oh my god, you have to have mini corndogs from Arctic Circle!” and we are there in moments and I virtuously do not have one of their Arctic Shakes even though I want one so badly and no one will believe me when I say I didn’t have one, so the sacrifice remains entirely unacknowledged. And then Rod says, “I love your thumb drive! I should get one!” and we are at Best Buy in a matter of moments–all of them places I can’t get to on my bike.

It has been nicely convenient, and very lovely to be able to go around
and see things (“Look! There are mountains! Everywhere!” I shout, and
Rod nods and agrees patiently), but this sense of freedom was something
I did not expect. I’ve been really dragging my feet on the idea of
getting a car–I don’t need one, really. It isn’t vitally necessary to
my health and well-being. Without a car I will not expire. Without a
car I can sock a bunch of cash into a variety of interest-bearing
accounts. Without a car, I have been happy.

But with this car, this week, I can’t believe how absolutely wonderful
it has been, to be able to take care of whatever I need to. The cat
got his claws clipped, now; I’ve moved a bunch of boxes over to my new
place, to clear out room for further packing. I made a huge grocery
run, and took my time in every aisle because I wasn’t worried I was
keeping my ride from doing more important things. I need socks,
under-bed storage bins and deodorant, and I’ll be able to go get all of
that from Target tomorrow afternoon, and maybe even stop for a few
minutes and look at the new designer collection. And then maybe I’ll go
get a latte at the coffee shop, and stop at Nordstrom’s and drive
through the canyon and go drag racing on the main boulevard and then go
hide a body. I can do anything and go anywhere, when I have got wheels,
and I so don’t want to give them up.

One Reply to “she’s got wheels, and knows how to use them”

  1. This is the best way to have a car – as an exhilarating weekend fling, and when you’re done with it, you send it back from whence it came. You can even swap it for another if it becomes in any way bothersome.
    Economically, physiologically, politically, environmentally, spiritually, you don’t want to own a car. Sign up for a CarShare, rent one when the fancy strikes, make it an excuse to get together with friends who own cars…
    Don’t make your bike sad.
    (This is my wildly biased opinion, sometimes it is better for someone to own a car, but I’m hard pressed to think of genuine, beneficial reasons. Also, I have great legs and a bike who loves me, and a great love of premium ice-cream.)

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