Friday, October 14, 2005

Backwards from a Hundred

As you may know, I was in a car accident (nothing major, kids not in car) last week. I have a rental now, and because I balked at the idea of putting two carseats in a Corolla the Enterprise people put me in a Nissan Pathfinder, the largest SUV on the lot as I can tell.

My injured car is a Honda CRV, which is, I guess, an SUV of sorts, even though it gets good mileage and is a low emissions vehicle. But I have never considered myself to be one of THOSE people in a Suburban or something like it, blocking the view of all cars, parked or on the road, that happen to be within fifty feet or so.

After this week, I am one of those people. This car is so big that my old car could fit INSIDE of it. I bought and carried home two large kitchen appliances without even having to put the seats down. I transported four hundred pounds of flooring.

I'm a little bit ashamed to admit that I enjoy driving this car. It's a V-6, I'm guessing, which means that I can cut into traffic at high states of speed not possible in my four cylinder front-wheel drive contraption. And I was off of the street before, but now I am riding so high that I can look down on about anybody, into the messy back seats of their cars, and this gives me a feeling of authority. This car has all sorts of gadgets. If I could figure out how to use all of the buttons, I think I could heat the seats. I can control the stereo from the steering wheel (but no tape deck for my I-pod adaptor.) Yesterday, when I nearly ran out of gas, the car started to count the miles of backwards, like time ticking away, so I would know just how long I had on the road before me.

For some reason, this is a constant source of stress to me. It's like knowing the day you are going to die and watching the seconds tick off, bringing you there at high speed whether you walk or run. I put forty dollars of gas in this thing yesterday, and that brought the "miles left " number up from zero to 259. No telling how much time that will buy me.


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