Cars

5 May, 2017 Ken Everyday Life

Last year I met with a couple regarding a wedding, and having already postponed it once due to weather I went out in a blizzard. I turned into a plaza, but my car didn’t. I displaced quite the boulder on a median, but apart from smelling but not seeing some fluid, I wasn’t too concerned. I made my appointment and an hour later I was back on the Thruway coming home. I didn’t give thought to any such idea that a temperature gauge wouldn’t warn me if there wasn’t any fluid to read, and so my car seized up, was towed, and written off.

Mer and I walked onto a lot and there was a car already wagging its tail at me. We were looking for something else, but the salesman offered to show us — you guessed it — the car that caught our eye. One step inside the charcoal 2010 Chevrolet Equinox and I was hooked. Drove it on errands, came back, and bought it. The interior was swooshes of black and light grey, reminding me of certain species of dolphin. I named it ‘Mocean’ (pronounced “motion”). It was the largest, most luxurious car I ever owned. I didn’t even mind replacing the transmission a few months later just after any warranty expired. (Ironically, it happened in Rochester, performing the wedding for the couple I met months earlier.) I really loved that car.

A year later (a couple months ago), there was a loud crash at around 10pm, sounding like a plow dropping its blade, but louder and without any snow around. A big pickup hit three cars on our street, mine first, and so hard it lost a wheel. They drove on three and ended up in a ditch a quarter mile away, and was arrested. The cop said they were “more than drunk”. Axle and other damage meant another write-off. My insurance company probably loves me.

After almost buying a teched-out Ford Escort from a salesman named Cochrane (yes, I said “Rock-and-Roll!” when we went for a test drive), and almost replacing it with a greyish-blue Equinox, I settled on a Nissan Rogue. Star Wars marketing aside, whenever I rented cars that were a Nissan, I wanted to kiss it goodbye when turning them in. They just steer and drive so smoothly. A silvery almost-white grey, I named it ‘Starlight’. It’s a simpler vehicle, but easier to park, about the size of my Sportage. It has a look that reminds me of Luke’s landspeeder hovering across the desert. Okay, maybe marketing works. But it met the minimum specs: trunk size that will fit my beehive design; MP3 decoder; hands-free driving. And it drives like it can read my mind (almost like it has a suicide knob). All in all, it’s less modern in most ways from my Equinox, but overall it’s ‘right-sized’ for me.

It also is all-wheel-drive and has a high clearance, which will be good for the farm and winters in general. Who knows … if I drive it long enough, it may be one of my last cars before they go autonomous-only. Between safety and fatigue on long  trips, I won’t mind when that happens, but  for now I love the freedom and interplay between car and driver. And Starlight really comes through with it.

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