Sunday, October 2, 2011


My car has never been better and I wonder today what to do next, or indeed if any projects should be renewed.  The engine doesn't burn or leak oil, doesn't smoke, and idles at a perfect 800 RPMs. The suspension handles the ubiquitous Seattle potholes with aplomb. My seats are far more comfortable than those of any modern vehicle, and I can drive the freeway with hands-free steering, should I wish to tempt the fates (not to mention the horrible condition of Interstate tarmac).  The car corners like the race car so many of its peers were modified to run as.

On the auditory side, the stereo blasts out NPR or old rock music with perfectly-pitched ease, from a variety of speakers. I can even plug in an Ipod, although I've never owned one.  I guess the windows rattle a bit unless fully closed, but so what.  The road noise is muted and barely noticeable.  It's much more fun to listen to the music of the M10 engine.

Okay, the rear of the transmission dribbles the odd drop of oil and the dash cover is an amateur refit.  The original windscreen glows with 45 years worth of pitted use when exposed to direct sunlight.  And I have yet to return the color to its original Tampico.  Again, who cares.

But the feeling of completion is by its very nature illusory. At any time any number of scenarios might arise.  Major mechanical malfunctions always lurk nearby with a vehicle of this age and of course, the plethora of abysmal drivers in Seattle present a constant hazard to its well-being, each and every time I exit the driveway.

Today the car sits in the garage, awaiting fresh orders. What will the next cruise bring?  The future is unfathomable.

Resting quietly on a Sunday

DESCENDING THE CAIRO SIDE - a novel of the traveling life
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