Getting around

Woke early, rolled out just in time to see Older Daughter off to work. Watching her drive away in her own vehicle, her first, newly acquired just a couple days ago. She’s gone Rogue. Major milestone.

And Younger Daughter celebrated her own internally combustive milestone yesterday, passing the test for her learner’s permit (after a morning’s eternity at the DMV, surely one of our world’s most depressive institutions) and proceeding to drive us all over town on one contrived errand after another. She’s saving for her own first car, which she says will be an old truck.

My Dad owned a series of GMC pickups, topped with the campers our family toured the continent in, when fossil fuel was artificially cheap. In one of our last conversations he spoke with a mix of pride and embarrassment at the pleasure he’d taken, through the years, in his serial automotive possessions. Somewhere I have a photo of him beaming next to his own first guzzler, a wide and heavy old Dodge I think, c. 1950.

My first was a ’70 Dart Swinger. (Really.) My favorite, a few years later, a Mitsubishi Colt. My current ride is reliably functional but the romance is gone. I just want to get there, and in my dreams “there” would be a lot closer to here.

Won’t it be a better world, when we no longer mark our independent maturity by laying claim to our own personal carbon emitters? When we’d all rather ride the rails (or monorails) again, or pedal, or simply ambulate to work? And practically can?

But this side of commutopia, I’m happy for my girls and their traditional transportative aspirations. I just hope their second cars, and their grownup thoughts and feelings about locomotion, are more sustainable than ours have been. More like Neil’s, maybe?

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