Sleepless in Seattle? Or carless in SoCal?

November 30, 2019 § 5 Comments

Yesterday I sold my 2017 Chevy Volt.

I got my driving license when I was 15.

I drove my mom’s and dad’s cars until college started. They were a Chevy Impala, a Vanagon, a Firebird, a Celica, an Olds 88, and an old Silverado they got very cheap; it had been used to carry mail from one company office to another, right down the street. I think it had 23,000 miles on it.

They took away vehicle privileges when I moved out because they figured I would kill myself as a freshman with a car.

My sophomore year I got a 1974 Alfa Spyder. The engine melted because I didn’t put oil in it.

My junior year I got the pickup back. I drove it until I graduated and went to Japan.

In Japan I didn’t have a car but I didn’t need or want one.

Back in America I got the family pickup back.

Then I moved to Germany. I didn’t want or need a car there.

Then I moved to Japan. I didn’t want or need a car there, still.

Back in America I got an old Isuzu Trooper.

Then I moved to Japan again, where I went without a car for five years.

Eventually I bought a Toyota Lucida.

I left Japan and returned to the USA, where I got a stripped Silverado with a manual transmission. It was so stripped I bought it without a rear bumper.

I sold it a year later and got a nice Silverado with leather seats.

Then I got a Camry to go along with the truck.

I sold the pickup and got a Prius.

I gave away the Camry, then I gave away the Prius and bought a Volt.

The Volt was a lemon, so I got it replaced.

Now it too is gone but it’s not going to be replaced with another car.

It feels weird. It’s kind of scary, like someone yanked away your security blanket. SoCal is the heart and soul of this nation’s misbegotten car culture. Can you live high on a hill in the South Bay without one? Where every trip ends with a 1,200-foot climb?

I don’t miss it, though it’s only been a day. When I handed over the title I felt like I was handing over a 5,000-lb. weight that had been standing on my big toe.

Is this the future? Bring it.


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