Another Bucephalus has fallen victim to neglect, spendthrift, and procrastination. The car, a red Subaru Forester, the author's stout and loyal steed for the past 4 years, died in northern New Jersey on Saturday evening, something within it giving way with a sickening series of uncharacteristic crunching and groaning, screeching and banging. “At least $800 to repair what we think is wrong with it,” the woman at the repair shop told him once the mechanics had had a look at it on Monday morning. “But it could also be the water pump, or something else – we won't really know the total cost until we open it up and take a look inside.”
And so he consigned to the junk heap his faithful Sleipnir of night and fog, brave mount of a dark and fallen prince, choosing to wash his hands of it rather than invest more than the roughly $7000 already in. Bought out of necessity and a luxurious bauble stuck in the otherwise coarse and simple cloak of his life, his old friend will soon be torn apart, raided for parts, chopped, shopped, or simply put outside and left to rot. If he'd have had an extra $2000 lying around he might have had the recent ruptures repaired and a new serpentine belt installed; sacrifices must be made and expectations must be altered to reflect new realities, however, and, so, he'd signed the back of the car's title and put it in with the rest of Tuesday's mail. Requiescat in pacem, dear friend – you shall be missed.
His new mount, a gray and blue landshark-style bicycle that had sat under the front porch for nearly a decade, is once again working well: he has been riding it regularly for the past year. With new tires and brake pads fore and aft, fresh shifter cables, and rear spokes properly tuned, the velocipede allows him to go everywhere he needs to go around town and haul everything he might need to haul silently and without producing more exhaust than his own breath, more waste than that already gurgling in his guts. If he had but sold the car before it exploded, he might have recouped some of its value, but at least no one was injured when the automobile system failed, and he now has one less albatross dangling from his neck. At the end of the day, none can know what the Universe intends, and, so, the author accepts his new reality with a silent word of thanks to the shifting winds of Fortune for forcing him to make a difficult decision.
mentiri factorem fecit – 場黑麥
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I bicycle, write, surf, and strive.