Thursday, February 11, 2010

bam a lam!

Before I had even taken "her" for a test drive, I'd named her Black Betty. I said to Kate, "I'm trying not to get attached." With a goofy grin on my face.

"I can see that's working well for you!" She said.

I drove her to a mechanic's shop in town. The same place where I rented cars all last year, whenever I wanted to spin my wheels and get some freedom. They put her on the hoist and I stepped underneath with the mechanic. It was like looking up at some strange beast, suddenly immobile and helpless. I had no idea what those hoses and metal pieces did, but he did, and he pointed them out to me. "This is in really good shape, really good shape," he kept saying.

Two weeks later - after getting a loan approved, getting the papers signed and the car registered, brand new license plate and studded winter tires - Black Betty and I are together at last. I have a box of tapes on the floor below the passenger's seat. (Black Betty's vintage - 1997 - means that she doesn't have a CD player. Well, she does, but its in the trunk and disconnected.)

It's only been a few days but I can feel things shifting, I can feel myself changing into a "car owner." The kind of person who can get up in the morning, and know that they can get into their car, and drive wherever - and whenever - they want to go. No more worrying about meeting or missing my ride! No more having to call neighbours at the beginning of the work week to sort out who I'm getting into town with! (At least, until it breaks down for the first time. I know, I know.) It's incredible!

I'm sure I'll feel conflicted about this at some point - I'm rather environmental, after all. But for now - knowing that I can go on a little road trip, or do my errands, and take myself to work, all on my own time, on my own schedule, is well worth the money.

I'd love to hear about your first car. Or, if you've never owned a car, tell me about that. But yeah - car stories! Fill the comments!

Valentine's Day is this weekend. I'm writing a little love note to my new car, and as well I thought I'd share this picture with you lot. I was in the Bras d'Or Yacht Club the other day, which is where I meet up with some other writers once a month for some writing exercises, and among other decorations, they have this cherub hanging in a window. Behind it is Baddeck Bay and Beinn Bhreagh mountain. This place is one of the loves of my life, so this picture is fitting.

I hope you and your sweetie - be it a person, a car, a place, a thing, or yourself - have a lovely Valentine's Day weekend.

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