I miss my car.
I don’t even like my car—a blue-gray, low-to-the-ground, all-wheel-drive hatchback. But I spend a lot of time in it, and I miss it.
It’s trivial, really, to miss your car when a killer virus is roaming the planet. I should be counting my blessings—and I am, every day. I’m also relieved that my carbon footprint has shrunk since I’ve been working from home. And I don’t miss the soul-squeezing, gas-guzzling commute, which drains so much time from my day it invites pity.
Still, I miss getting behind the wheel. My car is always ready to go, loaded with the stuff every extreme commuter needs: jumper cables, rain boots, wiper fluid, water, an old down jacket, window scrapers and a shovel, utility gloves, tote bags, various cleaners and wipes, two screwdrivers and electrical tape (long story, not as creepy as it sounds), an umbrella, and, like the oversized purse-on-wheels it’s become, reading glasses, sunglasses, pen and paper, snacks, tissues, two phone chargers, loose change. My car is where I can catch up on the news, learn a little Italian, and listen to a new audiobook or podcast. It’s where I’m trying to develop an ear for jazz.
We’ve had our differences. Once, it broke down in a cloud of grayish smoke on Route 1 around Saugus, at the height of rush hour. It rattles softly, a sound that mysteriously disappears whenever it’s in the shop. It’s got crummy dashboard controls. Its hubcaps go missing. Its acceleration is more Ford than Ferrari. But for the most part, whatever the weather and road conditions, it gets me where I need to go.
Now, it sits.
Every once in a while, I’ll peer out the window and spy it in our lot. Backed into its spot and gleaming in the sun. Packed to the gills. Ready to go.