‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Thursday, July 14, 2011

on starting and stopping

On Tuesday my car wouldn't start. Today (Thursday) my car won't stop. Wednesday was somewhere in between. I suppose it usually is.

When my car wouldn't start, I was waiting to meet a friend I had invited to go to the theater. The other friend (I have two) who was going to meet me at the theater canceled, so I was waiting to meet the second friend at The Appointed Spot when I discovered my car wouldn't start. I'm sure he wasn't at all suspicious when he drove up and I asked him to drive. His car is clean and comfy and I would totally fake a dead car if the opportunity came up again.

Today I was on my way to work and when I stopped to run an errand, I couldn't get the ignition to turn off. After a few seconds of hand-wringing and driving back and forth through town like a squirrel at a four-way-stop, I pulled over and called the dealership. It is a key cylinder something-or-other.

While I am not prone to stalling my manual transmission, there is something disconcerting about driving through stop-and-go traffic with a car you can't start if it stalls (key won't budge in either direction). And did I mention I was almost out of gas? You're not supposed to fill your tank without turning off your engine. Even I know that.

So now in addition to keeping my tank full when anyone I know is pregnant, I have to keep my tank full in case my car won't stop driving. My car is a cross between The Red Tent and The Red Shoes.

Here's the thing with cars. When they don't work, they can either put you in a tailspin or give you a chance to breathe. I've been needing a chance to breathe lately. How often do you get to sit and just be where you are? Or sit in a clean and comfy car and be glad for the way things sort themselves out?

The woman at the dealership said sometimes people stay in the waiting room after their cars are finished. Who can blame them?

File under: car repairs are cheaper than therapy.