bunt sign

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

It's a funny feeling, being without a car. My work day is structured around my morning trip to the post office (plus whatever errands are on that day's agenda). This sensation of being stranded is disorienting, as if I've been yanked out of today's reality and dropped into a different era. I don't know if it's past or future, but it's not the "now" where I leave the house at exactly the same time every morning and make every effort to be back by noon, because that's when I've promised everyone I'd be available.

The clock has less impact on the course of the day. I can't look up and say, "One hour until I'm out of here." I can't do it because in an hour I'll still be here, without a car and without something familiar to fill that time spot. It's like when they move Survivor to Wednesday during the college basketball tournament, because the games are on Thursday. An alternate universe, one where maybe there aren't any baseball games in September.

This is what it's like to live somebody else's life. That somebody else is me, I, my own self, but without a car and without a firm grasp on the course of time's river. I've been whitewater rafting, so I know how it feels to be out of control, at the mercy of forces too strong to manage. My little paddle might keep me from overturning or crashing into a rock, but it won't stop me from rushing wildly downstream.

My compass today was the to-do list. It was a little weird working items off the list when I shouldn't have even been here, but at least it helped make sense out of the day. I think I even ate my Raisin Bran Crunch at the usual time, around eleven, and that helped me get back on course. I felt more like myself until it was time to pick up my car, because I never leave the house in the afternoon.

walnut tree

Top of the walnut tree.

The car passed all the tests, but my mechanic told me it might be time to think about replacing it. I told him I think about it all the time, but I'm not eager to take on a car payment because I'd have to give something else up. When it gets to the point where the thing I'd have to give up is mobility, then I will think about moving a new car from my imaginary wish list to my imaginary shopping cart.

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