Driving. I don’t miss it one damn bit.
I’ve been car free for some 5 years or more now. I got rid of the jeep before I made the move to Key West and have never looked back. I will admit, I miss the jeep because it was just a cool little vehicle, fun to drive, and easily the best vehicle I ever owned. But after not having a vehicle for lo these many years, I find myself not enjoying driving anymore.
Being here in the shithole of the universe, and because I am the youngest in the clan, I get to be the designated driver anytime we go out on the town. The vehicle I get to drive is something called a Subaru Outback. It’s an ugly thing full of every gadget, button, lever, and doodad which can be crammed into a box of steel. Everything is electric. There is a television which pops up on the mirror when one backs up. The seats are heated. There must be 20 buttons just to control the ac and heater. I still can’t figger out how to operate the windshield wipers. It’s definitely not a jeep, and I hate it. What’s worse, I may someday own it.
But it’s more than just having to drive an ugly car. I have found I hate driving now. The traffic, the congestion, the rules and regulations, the road kill. Driving used to be fun. Not anymore. I dread going anywhere now because I will have to drive. I used to drive thousands of miles every year, by vehicle and motorcycle. Now, the only time I drive is when I come here. I doubt I have driven 1000 miles since I got rid of the jeep and it shows.
I’m no longer used to the quick decisions necessary for things like stopping at red lights or swerving to avoid some slow walking son of bitch who can’t get the hell out of my way. Cars in front of me drive too slow. Those behind me are in too damn big of a hurry. While my driving skills may have eroded, my road rage has returned in full force.
I’ve often thought I may wind up with another vehicle eventually. Maybe another jeep with a rv for traveling about the fruited plains and purple mountains majesty. Now, I’m not so sure. I’ve found life without the need to drive to be much more better. No worrying about traffic. No fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs. No parking issues. And no stress while playing bumper cars with a bunch of idiots who are in too damn big of hurry to get someplace. Getting another vehicle is looking less and less likely as time goes on. Yes, I may well end up with the Subaru. In fact, I could conceivably wind up with three of the goddam things if all three relatives decide to pass on. I keep hoping they decide to get rid of their vehicles and enjoy a long happy, healthy life dependent on the bus and taxi.
But for now, at least when I return to the islands, I will get by with public transportation, maybe a bicycle, and walking. It’s cheaper, healthier, and less stressful.