My wife released from surgery
Still feeling the anesthetic
I close the shades in the hotel room
And cut off all the lights
The air-conditioning produces white noise
I sit by her in bed
And watch her while she sleeps
This is a quite time
My time alone with only my own thoughts
I don’t mind
Why am I thinking about cars?
In 1962, a third class in the Navy, I drove a fifty-two
Pontiac with the left
brake line crimped off and the power steering disconnected from Argentia, Newfoundland to
A friend of mine drove his family in a VW bus from Washington D.C. Kentucky
to . A Navy buddy of mine blew his engine
traveling through Alaska Maine: we had to pawn almost
everything we owned to get money to rebuild the engine so he and his new wife
could continue on to . These were driving adventures: people don’t
do that today Kansas City
As a young man I worked on my cars: big eights with four barrel carbs. I rebuilt the engines, installed gauges, a floor shift, glass packed mufflers with a cut out and amplified speakers for my AM radio. I probably drove to fast; but I was in control – the car responded only to me and my commands. My cars were always special: an extension of who I wanted to be.
Today cars are mainly transportation; and in the case of some people a symbol of money and status. But that personal relationship of a man and his car rarely exist nowadays.
We don’t drive our automobiles any more – we ride in them. We turn more of our decisions over to the automobiles: a vehicle with a little computer chip that monitors all mechanical and operating functions. We have GPS, Blue Tooth, OnStar, self deploying air bags, back up warning and camera, self parking programmed, automatic braking, blind spot warning, automatic light dimmers... Our vehicles are capable of making their own decisions. We click on the air conditioner and select our satellite radio station and read our text messages as we are transported with minimum effort and input to our destination.
I have a cell phone, but it has no camera and is not capable of texting; anyway, I never turn it on unless I need to make a call.