CarsMarch 19, 2007
Sometimes, when I have a day off, I think the part I like best is waking up early and thinking about all the things I'm going to get done. I think about the long, leisurely run I'll take with the dog, and the writing I'll do at some nice cafe, sitting out in the sun, and the housecleaning that I'll do while singing the standards, and the food I'll cook for the coming week. I lie in bed, and I hear Lala in the shower, and I think all these delicious thoughts. Then I read a chapter or two of whatever I'm reading and I GO BACK TO SLEEP for three hours. I got up at 10:30am today (as opposed to 4:30am on days I work) and now it's 11:30 and I haven't done anything except have tea and cereal and answer emails.
But really, that's okay. I would enjoy getting all those things done, and I enjoyed THINKING about getting them done. We find pleasure where it lives, right?
I was going to tell you about my car day the other day!
Last week, the station wagon started feeling funny. I pulled over a couple of times, sure that the tire was flat. Okay, no, I found that it wasn't flat, but OHMYGOD, I think TWO lug nuts have come off one of the tires. I dragged a really unwilling guy away from pumping his gas to the dark alley where the gas station hid its inflation station to see if he could confirm that my tire was about to fall off because it was missing two lug nuts. I really, honestly think he thought I was going to mug him back there. I've never seen anyone so jumpy.
But no, he showed me that I was only missing the lug nut covers, not the bolts themselves, so that wasn't it. The air pressure was fine in the tires, but at 30 miles an hour, the car wobbled and went whomp-whomp-whomp. At speeds higher and lower, it seemed okay.
The next day, unable to get to the auto-shop, it started making that sound and juddering between 20 and 40 mph. The next day, it did it quite a bit more, and then suddenly, on my way to teach my sock class, it did it at all speeds. I white-knuckled my way home on the freeway, going 30 as the the car went WHOMPWHOMPWHOMPWHOMP.
I didn't even feel safe enough to limp it to Big O Tires in Alameda the next day, so I called AAA for a tow. No worries, I could drive the old convertible Nissan for a day or two. But when I walked back to that car, I found THREE flat tires on that bad boy.
With some fast talking and a very nice tow-truck driver, I got him to tow out both my cars on the same flatbed. I even got to hitch a ride with him to Alameda (I love riding in tow trucks -- it's like the engine of a train or the cockpit of a plane -- somewhere rather mysterious that you know you don't belong so you get the best view you can, while you can).
Tell me I wasn't embarrassed though. I felt like shouting to the neighbors who were probably peeping out their windows, "THEY ARE NOT REPO-ING MY CARS!"
Turns out I had a bubble in my front tire that hadn't been visible to me, but was obvious when they pointed it out. That was what was making the noise -- the tire was beginning to separate. Also turns out that the car is ten years old, and the tires were eleven. Factory-issue, obviously, and high time for new ones. The car rides like a dream, and the Nissan drives again, and we're broke and that was a lot to tell you just to justify this picture:
Both my cars, heading out
Now. What am I going to do with my day and my cars that drive? Dogs needs walking, and I'm thinking about Pt. Isabel. Maybe today's the day I'm going to multitask and take the computer with me -- grab a picnic bench and let the dogs go crazy with the other dogs while I write. I always mean to do that and then forget completely until I'm up at the picnic bench, looking over the entire bay, thinking, what a great place to write!
And you, you enjoy your day, okay?