Friday, June 22, 2007

My daddy said son, you're gonna drive me to drinkin, if you don't stop drivin that hot rod Lincoln...

Wrecked my car Monday. Big WHAM into the Kia SUV in front of me, whilst merging off of Verdae Blvd, right in front of the Olive Garden. Big spectacle. Why, oh why, God? 98 degrees, and I sat there waiting for the tow-truck for an hour, until I was as wet as if I had just been swimming.

State Farm totaled the car. What? One little front bumper and tire-cover? Apparently. Talked to Pedro, Man of Automobiles, who said he could fix it with recycled parts, for the amount they will pay me. Now, why couldn't State Farm find a recycled bumper? Why do we have insurance companies, in that event? Must everything be spanking new?

I am now thinking of that excellent book, BOWLING ALONE, and I wonder how we all got so dependent on cars, why we all live so S-P-R-E-A-D O-U-T, in toxic suburbs (apart from community and each other) and using up oil as if it were water. I hate being part of it, but frankly, I can't seem to extricate myself.

And so, I walk to work today. Argh. Actually, it isn't so bad, except for the heat, and crossing Pelham Road, which is literally taking one's life into one's hands. (Me and the Mexicans who work on Restaurant Row are the only folks walking.) I am lucky, in one way, that I live close enough to walk to work. No one else I know could.

And when I get there, soaking wet again. Yesterday, I took a washcloth and went into the bathroom, spraying myself with Aura Cacia Orange-Patchouli mist when I was done washing. I thought to myself, if all these people walked, we'd all be sweaty.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, everyone was sweaty all the time. Was that a better world? Certainly, computers could never survive in that heat. But were we more tolerant of appearances when we traveled long distances in the heat, getting dirty and smelly? My suburbanites are antiseptic, blow-dried, made-up, botoxed, perfect, muscled with no sweat or strain, sleeveless arms all fit and sleek, but no sign of ever having used them, and no reason to.