Friends lent us their car while they are away on vacation. It’s a nice gesture and we appreciate the wheels when we have them. I am somewhat embarrassed, however, to admit that we having been using the loaner car everyday. It is a Prius. The second one that has been loaned to us. For a few days I didn’t feel bad about driving it because it was a Prius. I wasn’t hurting the environment that much, I figured. Do Prius owners drive more, because they feel like they can? It doesn’t cost as much to drive because the gas mileage is so good. I have a neighbor who frequently drives to the city instead of taking the train. She may subscribe to this “it’s not bad to drive” rationalization in her hybrid.
The car has been convenient, but I am falling out of the habit of being a gritty, resourceful, car free individual. I liked myself better as that person.
It’s 95 degrees. We have a borrowed car. Our friends are away on vacation. I am getting lazy. Even on the ride home from Beacon I found myself disbelieving that I had just a week earlier ridden my bike on the same road in similar heat. The impulse to be soft is powerful.
Today is the last day with the borrowed car. It was calling to me. I was feeling weak.
I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Plus, it was oppressively humid. Holy hell, besides being so tired, I would come back from camp drop off looking like a drowned rat. Arriving at camp fresh from the A/C in the Prius, one of the counselors asked hopefully if we had ridden our bikes again. “I was thinking about you,” she admitted. She was impressed with our choice and I could tell she was thoughtfully considering all the pros to getting rid of the car, yet she identified her reason-why-not (everyone always does), “I can’t strap my guitar to my back.” But I was delighted to see that she didn’t let herself off so easy: “or I could just attach a trailer to my bike.” A bystander, who lives even closer to the camp, contemplated his excuses—he has art materials to carry. But he talked himself out of them as well. I felt good that maybe these like-minded folks might ditch their cars on occasion and walk or bike when they could.