Thursday, June 13, 2013

Batgirl mobile

            My first car was a used powder blue Chevy Malibu, the second, a grey Citation.  This was followed by two more grey cars, then a malachite green Honda which was eventually traded in for a used purple Pontiac I called "the eggplant express."  I wrote about the Pontiac's demise in "Humble Me" as it breathed its last by being t-boned by an SUV twice its size and the grace that allowed me to lease a blue Honda CRV.
            But now I drive a black car. 
            In the six months I've been tooling around Toledo and Ann Arbor, I've been in more near miss accidents than ever.  My insurance company need not worry -- I obey the speed limits and traffic laws.  It's that I realize a black car is not as readily seen by other drivers, particularly a compact one like mine.  I have to be more alert and aware when maneuvering the uneasy streets of my hometown.  For as one of my clients recently said, "We have two seasons here in Toledo:  winter and construction."  Still, there's a lot to be said for driving a black vehicle, and I imagine when my lease is up, I'll choose another one. 
            Yes, I have to wash it more frequently as it shows every speck of dust and rain residue, but that simple act is satisfying.  As I wipe down the sidewalls and polish the windows, it becomes a moving meditation and the peaceful space I leave behind makes me more calm when on the road.  I find great satisfaction in stepping into a clean car on my way to teach a yoga class or meet with friends.  (Did I mention that I'm a Virgo?) 
            To me, black is soothing.  I prefer to sleep in pitch darkness and complete silence.  My college roommate once commented that our dorm room was like a tomb every time I went to bed.  I prefer the idea of a womb, but that's just me.  The only drawback is that my car is so comfortable (thank you, heavenly shock absorbers), it's like traveling around in my living room and I often need to chew peppermint gum to stay alert.  But that's all good, especially when driving my little friends to and from soccer practice. 
            Although I'm a teacher, when I'm not working, I prefer to be in the background, moving through life in my own way, at my own time.  I know how to make myself invisible and clandestinely move with stealth.  When in over-stimulating environments, I zip up my energy and disappear, figuratively or literally.  Perhaps that's why I chose a black car this time around.  It's more in tune with who I am as I continue this expedition of driving into the mystery of where my life is leading.   All I ask is that you keep an eye out for my little black car and all the others on the road as you get to where you're going.   May we all arrive safely. 
           And just in case...I'll be the one with her fog lights glowing.