Car Getting Towed at 23rd & Howard

Car Getting Towed at 23rd & HowardIt rained ice last night, but fortunately in the city it warmed up quickly, and all we had was rain. By the time I got the call I was waiting for the rain was down to sprinkles, making it much more pleasant for the short ride over to where I’d left my car last week to meet the tow truck driver for my final goodbyes to the Hyundai Accent I’ve been driving around occasionally since 2007. I got the car to drive from Oregon to my new gig at Tulane in New Orleans. I cried as P. and I made our way through east Texas and into Shreveport, and I cried all the way until I10 turns to bayou just past Baton Rouge. Don’t leave me here, I cried, scared of the masses of green I was sure were hiding stuff, the inhuman heat, and the giant crickets that caught rides. And then I fell in love with New Orleans, and I never wanted to leave.  I used the car to drive away from a couple of hurricanes, to get groceries home without spoiling in the summertime, to take E. and I on trips to Mobile and the ends of the earth and The Greatest Visitor Center in America and oh so many Civil War Battlefields. There was that one time I used the car to take the bike camping that one cold December when it was just me and all the senior citizens in their RVs. I didn’t have a rack for the car, so I just took the front wheel off and shoved it in the trunk and through the back seat. I locked it up at night and shivered in my tent inside my whisperlight sleeping bag. After a ride around the Mississippi end of Gulf Islands National Seashore I returned to this car, took the wheel off, and shoved it back in for the ride home. I was getting ready to leave when I was stopped by one of my RV neighbors: “Oh no! I missed it! We were all wondering, how is she gonna fit that big ol’ bicycle in that tiny little car?” Very carefully, sir, and then I drove us home. That car enabled so many adventures, but it was also delightful to watch it become superfluous to the adventures. And now it will go on to its next life, helping out the folks at Vehicles for Change, and I’ll get to figure out how to get there by bike, even when I don’t want to. And then I was back on the bike for a ride in the rain to meet R. and O. for our weekly meeting and a ride home before another ride out to return the tags and home again to cancel insurance and wipe my hands of the whole automobile business. Thanks, car, for being there, and now for going away.

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