Walking is overrated as a form of transportation. Least ways, that's what I was lead to believe when I was a young man out and about in the wilds of Southern California. It was my understanding that if I didn't have a car I was a loser, a joke of some sort, a blight on the lives of the car lucky, a lesser strain of man. Funny how that goes, though. Without a car I still managed to have a great social life, hold down jobs, be a regular consumer, get a degree and grab a couple wives out of the deal. I have come to believe that those periods of my life when I went without a car were more fulfilling, more jam packed with life than those times when I've had four wheels to take me around town.
I'm still without a car. I went through my cash reserves and overspent on groceries and such. Decided once again that the starter for the Honda was not going to happen this week. Or next week for that matter. The Boy won't be here for a month yet, so, with three block commute and groceries a couple miles away, what's the hurry to fix those wheels? I still manage to make meetings, socialize with colleagues, grab provisions and find really great second hand finds. Unless I'm talking furniture, which I don't need, or a run to the airport, which I can't see happening any time soon, what do I need a car for?
Today I took a walk with a shoulder bag and a debit card with a balance. I found time to get a haircut at Ernie's Barber down on Bay Street. His shop is always busy but today I went in and got a haircut almost right away. I checked out movie times at The Orchard Theater, found a nice Croatian cookbook to pass along at St Vinnie's, took to the hills by the high school and found my way to Save A Lot. I did a massive amount of grocery shopping last night, but who can pass up ten limes for a buck? How can you turn you nose down at two avocados for a dollar? Not me, baby, not me.
So, what's a man to do but saunter over to the Goodwill when it's on his route back home? I had intentions of buying that starter at the beginning of the day, but I was having too much fun being on foot. I passed two patrons walking about on my way to the market, saw one of the deputy directors driving by on her way to an errand, and, in the end, had a blast walking home in the sunshine hauling home my treasures. And what did I find today, you might ask? Oh, let's see. How about a...
..a shrink wrapped VHS copy of Orson Welles' Macbeth? Or a clean digital print of Lord of the Flies? I also came across Short Cuts, Goldfinger, Godard's Sympathy for the Devil, and Lewis/Martin's Scared Stiff. Left behind Horse Feathers and Dr. No. Maybe I'll swing by there tomorrow and see if they're still around.
..copy of the San Francisco's Junior League cookbook, circa 1987? Or a copy of Beard Award winning Jamison's Born to Grill? Or even this strange British paperback publication on How to Make Good Curries? I even found an oversized copy of the latest version of The Little Engine That Could for my youngest. Cool.
..great condition cd copy of Led Zeppelin IV? A handful of tapes including Beck's Gold and Green Day's Dookie and Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream?
..a really nice deal on a long handled, two gallon industrial sized brass pot for seven bucks? That was my big WOW of the day, hand's down.
So, I've had a grand day out. I got a good walk in. I caught a matinee of The Wrestler and managed to come out of the theater into a sunny afternoon. I passed along that cookbook to my colleague and she loved it. Some things are not meant to be bought and put on a shelf but passed along to those who would really appreciate them. She did. How nice for both of us.
So, there's a snapshot of a day of a man without a car. Sure, location, location, location. But still. It's a matter of mindset and desire and knowing what you can and what you can't do without a set of wheels. Right now I feel I can live without a car. Things will change and then we'll get that car on the road. Just not at the moment.
But as far as living without a cat? 'Nother matter altogether.
Here, kitty, kitty, kitty...
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