It was a fine and sunny (albeit windy) day here today, so I figured I'd lovingly wash the car that you, my dear readers, helped pick, albeit with a few bumps along the way.
As I was poking through the glovebox and console detritus, I found my driving map from the trip out here from Dallas. The stop, start, and end points were all carefully marked with the distance covered and odometer reading -- including the final, "San Francisco, February 16th, 9147 miles".
I looked up at the odometer -- now reading all of 9,456 miles. Only three hundred miles -- in three months of living here.
During my last summer in graduate school, I managed three hundred miles in three days. Having grown up and lived in the Great Plains, where runs to the store are measured in hours and trains only carry grain from the elevator, I am a child of the automobile. I learned how to drive when I was six, and from that point forward, did -- regularly and often.
Here, though, matters are different. Theoretically, I CAN drive to work, but when it's $5 bridge toll, $7 per garage day, $6 of gas, and enormous amounts of personal aggravation, the mile-and-a-quarter walk to BART and the 22 minute, $3-each-way ride looks pretty darn good. Cardio, environmental consciousness, and ease rolled into one -- and to top it off, the money I spend for passes can be tax-deferred. Sure, there are drawbacks -- like when the system hiccups and leaves you stranded for hours on the wrong side of the Bay -- but by and large, I'm not looking back.
So, my lovely little Mazda languishes, invigorated only by trips to the gym and grocery runs. Indeed, I'm even considering whether or not, since the husbear has one, if I even need a car.
If you had told me that two years ago, I would have laughed. Laid down on the ground, kicked my heels, screamed, and laughed.