Sunday, July 25, 2004

A 1989 Chevy Corsica has been an honorary member of the Rust family for 13 years.  And after all these years, Ol' Man Time-y Tutone has not been "nice" to this car.  

The air conditioning doesn't work, the driver's side door doesn't close all the way (and is prone to swing open when turning corners), and the engine dies when the weather's hottt.  Kids call it "a piece of shit." The Rusts call it "our piece of shit."

Most of the time, my poppa drives this car, but a few weeks ago, I drove it to work at Wal-Mart.

Hours later, as I'm driving home, the car inevitably starts sputtering and stuttering in the summer heat.  It stalls after I turn it on.  It stalls when I leave the parking lot.  It stalls while I wait for a traffic light.  This car's stallin' more than Lesley... Stahl.  Brah.

Still, I persevere.

But this whole time, I'm sweatin' - and not just because it's 97 degress out.  I'm worried that the car will stop dead-center in the approaching intersection.  I imagine the impending desturction...  

a cement truck barrels into me and then a garbage truck crashes into that, then a bunch of cars pile up, and a giant zeppelin falls from the sky and lands on it all. 
then, a bird farts.

But as can be expected by the "Paul-meister" (copyright - patent pending), I keeps my kool though the whole ordeal.  I tap the brakes just so and don't make any sudden movements and I pass through the intersection with no signs of fiery death.

Then... a few moments pass... a minute goes by...  and I realized that...

I'd been listening to Phil Collin's "In the Air Tonight" on the radio the whole time.

Jesus.  I hate that song.  It's the worst.  Ever.

I turned the radio off.

I'm beginning to realize that I only get bummed about things when I'm comfortable (and have the opportunity to nit-pick minor details).  When you're fighting for "survival," stuff like a bad Phil Collins song don't matter. 

That's why rich, priveleged people kill themselves and poor, life-day-to-day people don't.

Not a generalization whatsoever.

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