27 May 2015
the song of the temporary car
My temporary car sings me soothing songs of welcome when I get into it and when I turn it off, it caresses me with a few chords of farewell. It is huge, with a cavernous trunk and four doors. The rear-view mirror is magically treated to prevent glare from sun or high beam behind one. It has digital readouts of the temperature inside and outside. There are lots of numbers displayed. The radio is touch screen activated. It has power everything; I am careful not to accidentally hit any buttons or knobs or levers because I have no idea what they will do. (One of them is probably a seat ejection button.) The temporary car is quiet and smooth. It accelerates and breaks with no stomping required. It does not even have keys. It has no rust of dings from impolite other people's doors. Did I mention that the trunk could comfortably sleep at least 3? They give you these courtesy cars at the dealership to tempt you with luxury. Don't you want a better car than the broken one you are bringing in to be fixed? they ask with soothing siren songs. Don't you want this car? And I say No. I can't even figure out how to work the air. I don't care about or need all the fancy knobs and levers and numbers. And if I got knocked off a bridge into the water, and the electrical system shorted out, I would die trapped in this fancy temporary car tomb. No, I don't really want this car. I thank god for my low-tech car. Yes, my cheap little car has two spots of rust on it (curse you, hail storm), and driving it is a small wrestling match, and it hurts to roll down the windows, and it has been mercilessly dinged by other cars in parking lot battles, but the 6-year-old I took to see Peter Pan said the seat-belt buckling chime sounded like Tinkerbell, and this car is mine until death do us part, and luxury has never tempted me away from practicality. (Also, I know that my little car has no eject button and that if I end up in the water, I can crank and open my way out to safety.) My car is my own, and I will not be tempted away by another.