A friend of mine told me that some time ago there was a terrible traffic jam on the Williamsburg Bridge, which connects Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York City. Finally, in deep frustration and road rage, a man got out, took out his gun, and shot his car.
Really? I asked.
Really, she said.
There are two mechanical things that I have loved over my life. One is my MacBook Air, which I can slip into my handbag and work on everywhere. The second is my red 2011 Prius, the first new car I’ve ever had. If you’re used to driving cars till you or they drop, depending on who goes first, you’re used to craning your ears to hear a new sound or smell a new smell morning after morning. What’s there that shouldn’t be there? Like all aging, sick, or dying bodies, an old car lets you know.
When you get a new car, one with great mileage and a shiny red color, one that’s at the beginning of a long and productive lifetime—OMG!
Why would I shoot it?
Because I’m mad at the traffic. Because I’m mad at the crazy city that doesn’t know how to run things. Because I’m mad at this crazy government that doesn’t take care of people. Why turn on the radio to listen to some calming music? Why avail myself of some unexpected free time and meditate, or just give my mind a rest? Why do any of those things when I can get mad?
Do I examine carefully where the responsibility lies? I have the time. Do I look at what decisions I made that brought me to this place? Maybe I should have taken the subway (New York has great public transportation). Maybe the world is telling me to pause, make some changes, simplify my life, figure out the basics and get back to them. After all, everything that happens, including heavy traffic, is at the very least a message, if not a blessing.
Not on your life. Why do any of these things when here, right here is an innocent being made of metal and glass over which I have the power of life and death? Doesn’t look like me, a different species vulnerable to quotas set by international treaties and trade commissions, usually homeless, always living on the streets, traded in after giving me its all for years and years, humbly happy to do the work that horses and people did many years ago. I bitch every time I have to feed or service it (Why isn’t the gas cheaper? Change tires again!). And finally, when it’s come to a stop not of its own making, surrounded by hundreds of its tireless peers wishing to do nothing but move, wishing to do nothing but serve, what do I do?
What any reasonable person does. I shoot it.Make A Donation