I am a professional pedestrian. At least that’s how I like to think of myself. When I took the leap and moved into San Francisco from the warmer side of the bay, I also got rid of my car. And, it really was a dream come true. I had always had a car because I had always lived in places where it was a necessity.
It’s been almost two years and I still don’t really miss it…at all. I mean, why would I? I save hundreds of dollars a month by simply using my two feet. And, if we (Jeff and I) need to, we can take Jeff’s car–Gladys. Gladys is a fine specimen approaching 20 years old. Sure, she might be missing several pieces of trim, have a taped on headlight, and smell strangely similar to a 90 year old–which I am convinced is her age if she were human–but, the truth is, Gladys is lucky to be alive. She has been wrecked and stolen (and returned) several times. And most importantly, she runs.
I wish I could say that any of my past cars fared as well. My first car was a 1981 Chevy Citation. Just prior to its demise, the only way to shift gears was to turn the car off–shift–then, turn the car back on. All while going down the road. My next car was a 1988 Ford Tempo. When it died it still had the bailing twine and wire delicately woven throughout the engine to hold it together. After that there was the 1992 Mercury Topaz. It lived a nice long life. However, after a series of unfortunate events involving the radiator and 110 degree Phoenix heat, I left it abandoned at a strip mall never to be seen again.
So, needless to say, I love not having a car! And now that I don’t drive very often, I have had time to perfect my “back seat” driving skills; which, I know are greatly appreciated. I also have grown acutely aware of others’ road rage. In particular, my friend Jaclyn. Jaclyn is the most respectful and caring person I know…until she gets behind the wheel. Frankly, she scares me. Which is another thing, now that I don’t really drive; I get scared riding in the passenger seat. I don’t know what has made me so skiddish.
Maybe it has something to do with almost becoming roadkill, while the ones driving the cars are screaming and honking at each other.