Sunday, June 06, 2010

Losing a Little Zip

For the past two weeks, people too polite to ask what's going on might have thought I had gone into full-blown midlife crisis. I've been zipping around town in a fancy sports car.
Several people have asked.
"Did you get a new race car?"
"Hey, Zippy. What's with the ride?"
"Having trouble getting out of the spaceship?"
The answer to the last question is "yes." I now know what the original Mercury astronauts must have felt like. Strapped into that sardine can, I was low to the ground and constrained.
It's my son's car, and he's been conquering the Great American West in my SUV. Word is, he has arrived safely at the Fabulous Bachelor Pad, but I have yet to see him or my car. By all accounts, he and his running buddies had a terrific time. They spent three days at an outdoor music festival, hung around San Francisco for a couple of days, saw redwoods and wine country, general young-guy California cavorting.
Obviously, the family was fully supportive of his travels and we are eager to hear his stories and see his photos.
I am much more eager to get my regular ride back. I'm accustomed to stepping down from a vehicle when exiting. In this thing, you have to unfold and then step up. It's like doing calesthenics every time you get in or out.
I will miss his stereo. Driving around with his premium sound, I heard things in songs I simply had not noticed before.
I realized along the way that we're running a four-car fleet in this family and my vehicle is the oldest. It also has the most miles on it, a circumstance that was significantly enhanced by my son driving it halfway across the continent and back again.
That's okay. My old car fits me like an old shoe: comfortably. Midlife crisis deftly averted.

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