Wednesday, July 14, 2010

They See Me Rollin'

I bought a car today. A little red Mazda Miata. It's older, and convertible with good tires and no obvious leaks. I listened to the engine and took it for a test drive. For an older car, there are no big shimmy's or shakes. Needs a dent fixed and the paint touched up. Not sure where to have that done. It did fine on the highway and I got a sunburn on the way home. And it gets like 30 miles to the gallon.

Luke went with me, you know, for support and shit. And I needed a ride. There's a cute thing that guys do. They look under the hood of the car. I'm not sure what they do under there. The seller was a mechanic and I'm a not-mechanic. I believe that if you look up antonyms for English teachers in the dictionary, there will be a photo of a mechanic and a mathematician. As far as I could tell, the battery was ok and the engine was relatively free of gremlins and hamsters. I didn't ask Luke what he was doing under the hood the same way that I don't ask an electrician what he or she is doing when they're screwing around with tools around electrical outlets. Best to stay out of the way and not distract. You never know when some power surge is going to come through and make a human meat puppet out of an electrician. I try to not be around for those events.

For me, it's magic. I know how engines run in a fairly rudimentary way. I understand 4, 6 and 8-stroke cylinder engines and can show you what a gasket looks like and could probably change the oil in a car if I was forced to at gun point. For that matter, I could also probably cook a gourmet 4-course meal twice weekly and sew frilly aprons. The fact of the matter is that I'd rather not do either of those things.

You know what I like?


Yes, magic. I love it when the electrician fixes the outlet, the timing chain on the car gets replaced, the food that a server brings me is perfectly prepared and when I have a little money left over at the end of the month. I like the idea of mathemagic. I don't much care about how those things happen. Magic and hard work. And clock hours spent studying, practicing and perfecting a craft. That's how anything well done is done well. Through the careful use of alchemy.

I have a place in the great wheel of life. I am a cog; I am a writer. I love the way sentences work. I enjoy compound, complex and simple sentences and I love to use them for maximum effect using the correct rhetorical appeals considering the context of the writing. Really, I do. Did your eyes glaze over? Do you know what I'm talking about but couldn't give a rat's ass? Good. We're even.

So I left the guys to put their heads together under the tiny hood of a tiny car. I took a photo to send to my brother because he used to have a Miata. And to Kerry because he's been helping me look. Ultimately, I decided how much I would be willing to pay and the guy and I came to an agreement. And I have a new old car and a sunburn from driving home from Edmond to Norman with the top down in the middle of the day. It's hot out there.


  1. Hooray! New old car! I like Miata's. I want a baby blue or pepto pink Kharmann Ghia. I think it would complete the whole artist persona. Lol. Have fun driving your little car around & for god's sake, get some sunscreen!

  2. Ahh, the Mazda Miata is sort of my dream car, but I don't like that it is rear-wheel drive. I've had front-wheel drive for so long, I'm not sure I want to go back, especially in snow.

    Oddly, when I was 16, I wanted a Kharmann Ghia. I ended up with a '59 Austin-Healey Bugeye or Frogeye Sprite (the sister to the MG Midget). I still have the Sprite sitting in a shed. Maybe some day I'll get it running and drive it for a couple hundred miles before it breaks down again.