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Carless- Day Thirteen -Musings Mysterious

Modernity’s mysterious to me.

I’ve owned four cars. I’d hoped each would be my last. I drove ‘em until they were essentially undrive-able, abandoning them only after they’d abandoned me. I replaced each reluctantly, not wholly convinced that I really needed to replace any of them. I have experienced carless times before.

I have the same relationship with cars that I have with power tools. I’ve never really felt competent to operate either. I took great pride in driving the sort of car the other drivers respected enough to insist upon passing. I’ve always driven like an old lady.

I cringe at the thought of car payments, which I haven’t had in over fifteen years. I kind of miss mechanicing, though I’m ham-handed. I could change the oil and replace the odd tail light without too much expert help. Never did figure out how to replace windshield wipers, though.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in my life studying repair manuals. I’m convinced they’re an inside joke, designed as vague references; they don’t really show how to do anything you don’t already know how to do. These machines are mostly mysterious.

Some of my most meaningful commercial relationships have been with mechanics. I’ve been fortunate to find people who understood my philosophy and wouldn’t insist upon fixing stuff that didn’t matter to me or to the car’s longevity.

I do not like gas stations. They evoke in me a deep, oil-soaked-dirt-under-the-fingernails feeling. The ones tricked out as inconvenience stores trouble me. Do people really shop there?

I wouldn’t buy gas from BP, Exxon, or Shell for the same reason I won’t run Microsoft software. They each have long histories of shabby practices, as if there could be such a thing as a reputable petroleum company. I feel complicit whenever I swipe that card and start pumping.

©2012 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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