It has now been almost a month since a young guy plowed through a stop sign and almost totaled the Honda Pirate. A mostly auto abstinent month. Our neighborhood does not have a subway stop. We’re suburban enough to be dependent on buses or a 30 minute walk to Lechmere or Davis. Thankfully it is possible to walk to several playgrounds, the library, a few small shops and Bloc 11.
I am so fucking bored by these same urban strolls setting the tone and structure for our days. While you certainly can lead an enjoyable car free existence in Boston—I did for several years—doing so with a small child, especially a small child who is accustomed to long road trips and last minute dashes across town to a favorite swimming pool, wears thin.
Toss in the exhausting marital drama that I am unable to write more about, an exploding water heater, a laptop missing it’s “T”, a dog that shits in the dining room when I leave for 10 minutes to walk to the library, my tendency to want to be on the move, and you have one cranky, stir-crazy mother.
A weekly date with fleet of handsomeZipcars has eased the pain and boredom a little. So far I have driven a Toyota Matrix named MacDonald, had a one night stand with a Honda CRV whose name I never got, fika’d a Volvo S 40 named Schmidt, and have holed up for the weekend with Victor, a neon blue Nissan Versa.
The Matrix was spare but serviceable, with surprising pick up for such a small car. The CRV provided a bit more room, and a familiar Honda sensibility, but I felt as if I was cheating on my Pilot with a lower rent substitute. One that pulled to the left and threatened to tip over while making left turns or encountering a mild breeze.
The low-slung Swede has been my favorite so far, which should not surprise since most of my miles have come from that part of the world. While Schmidt was obviously not a full-blooded Swede, showing signs of being a true Taurus in the design details and body mass, he was stiff and powerful like most of the other Swedish tanks I have powered down the road. Schmidt also came equipped with a fancy radio system that provided song and artist info, as I impatiently spun the knobs.
Victor the Versa is fast, cheap and fun, and waiting for me to finish this entry, place my hand on his gearshift and crank his engine.
The Honda Pirate better come home soon. I’m feeling lonely and neglected and vulnerable to trading in for a new model.