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so we drive and we’ve driven ten thousand miles

maura @ 6:14 pm

Because of unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances we have a new car. I am having a hard time adjusting. Our new car is only a few years old and it is very very very different from our old car, which turns 19 this year. The new car is a sedan and automatic and you can hook your phone up to the stereo system. The old car is a wagon and a standard and has a cassette deck. We have a shoebox of tapes from the early-mid ’90s in the old car, what are we supposed to do with them now?

Perspective (for multiple definitions of the word) is very different in the new car. In the old car the seat is a bit higher plus there is a hatchback rather than a trunk, which means the driver can see and thus fairly accurately perceive the front end of the car all the way through the back. In the new car there’s a trunk and I can’t see or sense either the front or the back of the car, which makes me feel oddly disconnected while parking especially. There’s one of those new fangled back up cameras which should help but instead reminds me of a videogame, another layer of disintermediation. The new car is smaller than the old car but I feel like I’m driving it as if it’s bigger because I don’t yet have a good sense of its size.

In my and the old car’s old age I realize that cars have become very complicated. Everything is an icon or a button or a display screen. The front seats can be heated. The side mirrors fold in. It feels so fancy, much too fancy for me, though it’s really just a normal car, what normal cars are these days.

I am not missing the shifting nearly as much as I should. This is actually my first automatic car, though because of living in cities it’s only the 4th car I’ve had in the 30 yrs I’ve been a driver so the sample is small. I’d wanted us to get rid of the car for years but there’s no denying that the car lets us get up and go at a moment’s notice in addition to facilitating inter-Brooklyn travel for meatballs at Ikea and other locations that are tricky to get to on public transportation.

My grumpy old lady brain mutters that I will miss the standard transmission next winter when it snows, though who knows if that will actually be the case? At any rate it was nice not to have to continuously clutch when it took us one solid hour to get through the Holland Tunnel and over Canal St. (which right now is more pothole than road) to get home yesterday.

It is a lovely car, quiet when on, comfortable, all the mod cons. I wish we never had to take it.

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