|Best of Both Worlds // The MochaMobile|
December 29, 2002
i had the best of both worlds last night. i spent several hours reading the novel my mom had sent me, with the classical station on for background. H had repaired to the bedroom, so it was nice and quiet.
Around midnight, my eyes were tired of reading, so i decided to check back online, if only to say goodnight to L.
He messaged me almost instantly when i got on ICQ. "Where have you been?"
i told him i was reading.
"Good book?", he asked.
"That's good. Want to Picophone?"
"For a few minutes", i replied. "i'm going to bed soon."
L was in a good mood. He'd been installing a TV tuner in one of the computers, and wanted to tell me all about it. Maybe he'd missed me, or was just excited about what he'd accomplished, but i got the feeling he was happy to spend time with me. (and he didn't once curse out his computers!) i was glad to be with him, too, even if all we discussed were computers.
i ended up going to bed around 2am, later than i'd planned. But i was enjoying his company, and when i did go to bed, it was with a warm, fuzzy feeling.
The book Mom sent me is quite good. It's by Anita Shreve, who wrote The Pilot's Wife. Mom thought i had read that one, and would like this one, too. i never read the other one, but i saw the movie version, and had rather liked it.
This book, Fortune's Rocks, is set at the turn of the 20th century, and is about a 16 year old girl who has an affair with a 41 year old married man, and the aftermath of that affair. So far, i'm only up to the point where the affair is discovered (in a public and awful way). i'm curious to see how she fares.
Although i'm far closer to her lover's age than to the girl's, i have no difficulty relating to the idea of a clandestine affair (oh, if my mother only knew!!! ). The author has it pegged, too, particularly in one scene between the lovers that really jumped out at me. i emailed it to L, and i'm posting it here, because it describes the situation between he and i surprisingly well. But i hope we will have a happier ending than they did. (at least where i left off last night, things are far from happy)
Anyway, here it is:
"All lovers seek the illusion of oneness", he answers. "But you are right. Most of a love affair is in the mind."
"Is it?", she asks.
"Of course, there are the times when we are together", he says. "When we express our love for each other. But do not these episodes but feed the true and ravenous lovers, which are the minds, creatures unto themselves? So that love is not simply the sum of sweet greetings and wrenching partings and kisses and embraces, but is made up more of the memory of what has happened and the imagining of what is to come."
"But if that were true", she says, "then it would not be necessary to be physically together at all. We could just simply imagine it, and be done with it. And not worry about being caught out or about hurting anyone else."
"Yes. Well...,", he says. "The imagination must have fuel. It must have someting to base its memories on. In the beginning, when we would meet, I used to marvel how it was that we never began exactly where we had left off, but seemed to have progressed to yet another level, and then another. The mind is intolerably impatient. It can imagine the whole of a love affair in an instant."
"Have you done that?" she asks quietly. "Have you imagined the whole of us?"
"Yes", he answers, "and you have done so as well" -- from Fortune's Rocks, by Anita Shreve
i drive a 1993 Ford Tempo. It's an old car, i admit. It's only got 46,000 miles on it, and per year, i only put on an additional 2,000. It had a slight mishap back in October, poor H was in a fender bender with it (not his fault, and which he did his best to avoid), resulting in a cracked and offkilter front bumper.
My car is affectionally known as the "MochaMobile", thanks to an unfortunate incident with a Venti Hazelnut Mocha. H had gone to Starbucks for my annual Mother's Day treat. The standing joke was that he made me a cup of (instant! BLECH!) coffee every Mother's Day. Once i stopped buying instant coffee, the tradition threatened to die. Until i pointed out that Starbucks would be a viable (and much appreciated) alternative.
So, Mother's Day two years ago, he took my car to Starbuck's. He decided to buy himself a hot chocolate while there. My car only has a single cup holder, however, so he placed my caffe mocha on the floor of the vehicle. Which might have been ok, except for things like: braking the car, or making turns.
Needless to say, when he handed me the paper cup, it was no longer a Venti....more like "nove" or "dieci" ("nine" and "ten" in Italian, respectively). Most of the contents had taken up residence in the floor mat of the car.
It was after dark, however, and i wasn't prepared to go out and mop out coffee at 8:30pm. So, it stayed. And the next day, i drove to work. It wasn't too bad in the morning, but after sitting out in the parking lot on a sunny day in May....well, you can imagine the stench of spoilt milk by mid-afternoon!
i spent the rest of that afternoon sponging coffee out of the car....hosing down floor mats, and eventually pouring nearly an entire box of baking soda over the floor, hoping to absorb the odor.
The "aroma" has dissipated, and i don't notice it at all any more, but the incident did "baptize" my car as "The MochaMobile"
The MM has its quirks, particularly being over 10 years old. The clock does not keep accurate time. It's some 5 hours and 10-odd minutes off, but i can never seem to remember whether it's add or subtract those hours or minutes. The radio only gets 3 stations, and on one stretch of road, only one of those will come in.
When you turn off the window defroster or a/c, you hear a loud "Pop" a few seconds later.
The front driver's side tire keeps losing air (we're replacing that in 2 weeks, when we take the MM in for its quarterly oil change)
The MochaMobile has never been driven on the highway, prefering local streets (as does its owner). It doesn't like to go any faster than 40, with occasional sprints to 45. At 50, it gets "nervous", and starts trembing. So does its driver, so we're well suited to each other
One other little quirk, is that when rolling down the driver's window, it sometimes doesn't roll all the way back up. It looks and feels like it's all the way, but there's a tiny little space where the top of the window doesn't quite go all the way up, unless you give the handle (yes, manual windows) a little extra crank. Then you can feel it slip into place.
Like most autos in this climate at this time of year, the poor MochaMobile (which is white, with a red interior. Not a bad combination, though i would not have chosen a white car. But when you buy a used one, you get what you get), is suffering from road filth. It is (or was, until today) beginning to look more like a MUCKMobile....
So H offered to take it through the car wash. As we sit (car in neutral, please, and foot off the brake), gliding through the carwash, listening to the radio, H suddenly announces..."Hey, I'm getting wet!!"
Sure enough, he hadn't given the window handle that little extra quarter turn....and through that narrow slit...he was getting a shower!! We had a good laugh over that!
We've owned 4 cars in total...an Omni, a Pontiac, the Saturn (which after 2 years, i still have never driven), and my MochaMobile. The MochaMobile is the first car i've ever owned that i've thought of as "mine" and not primarily H's.
i know my car is old and quirky and not the swiffest or spiffiest...but somehow it and i understand each other. It's the first car i've ever felt truly "comfortable" driving, that seemed to "fit". Sounds silly i know, but i'm quite fond of the MochaMobile for all its idiosyncracies, and for all that i generally hate to drive, and view it as a necessity, but not a pleasure. There are moments, though, when even i, singing along to the car radio, cresting the hills on Westfall, window open, have an almost "Zen like" moment, and can almost....very faintly, in the distance....hear the call of the open road.......
......Or is that just the MochaMobile's radiator?????