Thoughts (About Cars) On A Walk

Thoughts on a Walk, like, stress, cars, humor, Modern PhilosopherMrs. Fish turned to me today, Modern Philosophers, and told me that it’s easy detect when something’s wrong.

Apparently, I get very quiet when things are off, and my silence is loud enough to make an impression.

I have to admit, I was not myself today.  It’s been a long week, I am run down, have a lot on my mind, and my Fitbit says I’m not getting enough sleep.

But I do have an overwhelming urge to write tonight.  And I need to pile up the steps because I’m involved in a one day step challenge at work.

In other words, tonight you’re going to do a ride along in my head as I share more Thoughts on a Walk…

Thoughts on a Walk, like, stress, cars, humor, Modern PhilosopherI want a new car.  It’s all I can think about now that I’ve dealt with yet another stressful encounter with the vehicle I like to call “Zombie Car”.

My amazing mechanic brought her back to life yet again, but I’m so tired of living in fear that my car is going to breakdown at any moment.

Even though this new problem is supposedly fixed, I still drove to and from work today with my stomach so far up my throat, it was practically on my face.

At every red light, my heart raced and my hands tightened on the wheel as I prayed the car would not stall again.

That’s no way to live.  My commute should be a stress free twelve minutes of singing along to whatever is on the radio as I think about how lucky I am to live so close to work.

But it’s not.  It’s torture.  And it weighs on my mind all day.  It has to stop.

Mrs. Fish says it’s made me too quiet…

Thoughts on a Walk, like, stress, cars, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’ve never owned a new car.  I’m from Brooklyn, so I took public transportation whenever I wanted to go anywhere.

I didn’t get my license until I was 21, and only then because I knew I was going to move to California at some point for my writing career.

I bought my first car when I was 27.  It was a ’67 Mustang.  Cool car, but it broke down a lot.  Obviously, this is what caused my paralyzing fear of driving.  Every time I got into the car, I had no idea if I’d make it home without a tow truck.

Once, when I was driving to work, the gas pedal fell off.  I had to finish my commute by applying pressure to the nub of metal that stuck out of the floor.

On more than one occasion, I stopped for gas late at night and the Mustang would not start when I was done filling its tank.

I sold the Mustang when it was time to move to Maine, and bought Zombie Car from my mechanic.  It was his personal car, so it was in great shape.

Of course, once I get behind the wheel, a vehicle is cursed.  I’ve had this car for 14 years now, and those years have not been smooth sailing.

Thoughts on a Walk, like, stress, cars, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’ve never owned a car with air conditioning.  How pathetic is that?  It was always hot in sunny California, and summers can be very warm in Maine.

I’ve always had to open the windows and settle for the warm breeze blowing on me.

I just want to be able to hit a button and have cool air fill my vehicle.  In the winter, I want the All Wheel Drive to kick in and make my snowy commutes much safer.  I don’t even care about a great sound system, heated seats, GPS, or the ability to have my car answer and read my texts to me as I drive.

But I wouldn’t be opposed to giving up my Amish driving life and finally being behind the wheel of a car built in and for the twenty-first century.

Thoughts on a Walk, like, stress, cars, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’m really interested in buying or leasing a RAV4.  I know three people who lease one, and they all speak very highly of both the car and the local Toyota dealership.

I can’t stop thinking of what it would be like to be behind the wheel of one.  How I could end a certain amount of daily stress in my life if I traded in Zombie Care for something shiny and new.

I’m not sure how I’m going to afford it, but all my friends who lease say they’ve gotten very good deals.  Even if having a monthly car payment adds a little financial stress, there’s no way that would be worse than my daily driving stress.

When I was talking to my mechanic about the RAV4 yesterday, he had great things to say about the vehicle and told me I deserved a new car.  He knows, better than anyone, all the stress Zombie Car has brought into my life.

Even though Eric would lose a lot of business if I got a new set of wheels, he was honest and encouraged me to go for it.

Thoughts on a Walk, like, stress, cars, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’d like to think that if I got a new car, I’d be more social.  As much as I hate to admit it, a large portion of my self-imposed exile is due to my fear of driving.

I seriously believe that if I had a new, reliable car with GPS, I’d be much more inclined to go for drives, explore new places, and simply go out more.

One of the main reasons I get fat every winter is because I don’t run.  I don’t run because I’m afraid of driving to the gym in the snow, and worried that the car won’t start to take me home once I’m done with my workout.

I need a new car.

The million dollar question is: Can I afford one?

Thoughts on a Walk, like, stress, cars, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’ve been running numbers constantly in my head, which is a little hard to do since I have no idea yet how much a car would cost.  My friends have made very good arguments for leasing, though, so I’m definitely leaning in that direction.

I know I’m about a year away from paying off my Divorce Loan, and once that’s done, I can apply that monthly payment to a car.  So that gives me hope.

Of course, it’s not actually a Divorce Loan.  It’s the Home Equity Loan I had to take out after my divorce to pay J her equity in The House on the Hill.  That one caught me by surprise, and I’ve been whittling down the loan for 13 years.

Recently, I’ve been paying about triple what I owe in hopes of wiping it off the books.  Now I know that getting rid of that debt could make leasing a car much more practical.  Isn’t it cool how my ex-wife is still screwing with my life all these years later?

Thoughts on a Walk, like, stress, cars, humor, Modern PhilosopherI really want to do this.  I know a new car is going to put a strain on me financially, but it might not be as bad as I think.

Plus I keep coming back to the idea that you really can’t put a price on safety and peace of mind.  The bottom line is that the stress of owning an old car that breaks down too often is taking a toll on my mental health.

It’s also car blocking my social life.

The idea of being behind the wheel of a new RAV4, especially during a Maine winter, does put a smile on this handsome, yet stressed face.

Maybe this weekend I’ll venture up to the dealership just to look around, see what’s available, and get a better idea of the cost.

It’s a big leap, but one that has become pretty necessary.

Clearly, it’s the only thing I thought about on my walk tonight…

Thoughts on a Walk, like, stress, cars, humor, Modern PhilosopherMaybe it’s a sign, but as I was about to wrap up this post, my neighbor with a RAV4 came over to give me the business card of his contact at the dealership.  He said the guy is great and I should definitely ask for him when I’m ready for a test drive.

What do you think, Modern Philosophers?  Is it time for Austin to finally get a new car?

Thanks for tagging along inside my head on tonight’s walk.  Sorry for all the car talk, but it’s like a big car dealership up there right now…

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About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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8 Responses to Thoughts (About Cars) On A Walk

  1. Hey! I have nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger Award! I really love reading your blog haha and even if you choose not to accept this I just wanted you to know that your blog is amazing 🙂 x https://mydailyyaveragelife.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/the-versatile-blogger-award-3/

  2. The question is more whether Zombie Car will let you go.

  3. Holly says:

    How many miles are on the Zombie Car now?

    My car has to last a few more years, but it’s a (cheap, small) Toyota product so RAV4 is high on my list of potentials, though who knows what I’ll think when I actually go to replace it. My landlord has one though and I like it, though I miss the sporty look of the spare tire hanging on the back since the new ones don’t have that anymore.

    • Austin says:

      I think it’s at 148,000. Not bad for a car that’s 25 years old. Sadly, it dies twice on the way to work this morning. I believe the end of the road is here…

      • Holly says:

        Oh, um… I hit 145K this morning in my 2006. If you go Toyota I have been told I can get 200K+ easy with regular maintenance. That’s from my mechanic though so maybe I need to reconsider my source.

        l hope I haven’t jinxed myself now lol!

      • Austin says:

        I got my RAV4 today! 🙂

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