May 17, 2003
A Damn Fool in Distress

My horoscope yesterday said "Travel is not a good idea," so on some level I wasn't surprised when my car hit the Biggest Pothole Known to Man (TM) and flattened my right front tire, leaving me stranded at the Citgo at Western, Diversey, and Elston. My idea of responding proactively to these situations is to have someone else fix them, but as I was in the midst of calling Triple A a nice man in a truck appeared and offered to change my tire. I felt helpless and stupid and I should know how to do things like this, but I am also realistic and realize that I'm probably never going to get around to learning it.

And I drove on the teenytiny spare over to the tire store and bought new tires, because the old ones were six years old and I considered the flat tire a sign of more bad things to come. I hadn't read up on the choices and thus was faced with a menu of options I didn't understand, plus lots of miscellaneous service charges and odd part expenses, and 400 exasperated dollars later the only solution I can think of is to get rid of the car and take the bus everywhere, forever and ever, amen.

In doing so I would be following in the footsteps of my grandmothers, who never drove, and my mother, who has pretty much stopped driving. They never had to worry about changing a tire, but they were helpless and dependent in other ways, and deep down I don't want to go down that road either.

So to speak.

And by the time everyone showed up for dinner I was pretty much over the whole thing, and even a little bit proud of my new tires, and for some reason I elected for us to drive downtown, because I wanted to see Lake Shore Drive in the evening light.

And we drove and ate pizza and watched night fall on the city, and I felt very American, except I guess if we were really going to be in step with the nation we would have been on our way to see The Matrix.

Posted at May 17, 2003 09:18 AM

I have much the same reaction to stuff breaking or introducing hassle in some fashion: It's time to get rid of it all and live in a very small town upstairs from the grocer.

Posted by: Chris on May 17, 2003 12:14 PM
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