I used to drive an 88½ Ford Escort hatchback. Among its many mechanical shortcomings was an interesting quirk that allowed me to turn the car off, remove the keys, walk away, and all the while the engine would still be idling, quietly ciphering away my gas. Now, when I say “turn the car off”, I mean just that. The electronics shut down, the vibrations ceased. By all appearances, the vehicle was disengaged. Only by pressing my ear to the hood could I tell the engine was still going.
It was a brief love affair.
There were other disposable cars in between, but now I drive a Honda. I’ve grown complacent. I take every aspect from oil consumption to tire pressure for granted. And why not? It’s a fucking Honda!
But this is dangerous.
Having had only two hours of sleep, I was a bit absentminded yesterday morning. I allocated exactly enough time just to get to work, so extra stops were out of the question. The car was on empty, but I knew it would at least get me there. I planned to get gas on the way home.
Unfortunately I forgot my wallet, which is strange, because I was wearing the same pants as the day before and it is attached by chain. Hmmm.
It was a nerve-racking drive. The gas light turned on with the engine, grinning at me over the course of ten miles of rushhour traffic, an accident, and multiple lane closures.
Somehow, I made it home. I grabbed my wallet, hopped back in the car, and had to drive another nerve-racking mile to a gas station. Death was nipping at my heels. The car shook violently as it rolled in front of the pump.
To celebrate yet another victory over Death I bought myself two feet of sub sandwich.