bailing out on the car life … or not

I think the 405 freeway in LA broke me. I only drove it for two summers 15 years ago, from jobs in Santa Monica to home in Glendale, which is technically in the Valley though not in the Valley, if you know what I mean.

Maybe I broke in one moment, inching over the rise to the awesome vista of 12, 14, 16 lanes of glittering gridlock.  I get angry and jittery still at the memory, and it is good there is not a steering wheel to pound right now, as I flash to NYC, to the Brooklyn Bridge on a Friday night, stopped with a steering wheel to pound and attempt to rip out of the car.

So, I am happy we don’t own a car.  No oil changes. No break downs.  No thugs shattering our car window in a cemetery and stealing my pregnant wife’s green card. No subsequent plastic flapping over the car window for weeks.

I get tired driving. I get mad at the car companies for their foolishness. I worry about global warming. I hate the sprawl that came with the car: I hate Route 211 East in the Town of Wallkill, NY, where you have to drive between every single strip mall, no strip mall has more than one good store.

So good.  I am principled and earthy. And now my American drivers license is no longer valid in Sweden. And we face the prospect of hauling two small children around on buses and trains, which do take longer. And how will we all go to the grocery store? And how will we visit four sets of relatives in my wife’s hometown two hours away?

We need a car.  At least a license so I can rent a tiny car and spend $110 filling up the tank. I want that.  Soon.  Really really soon.


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