I think I’m comfortable enough now to tell you all about my magic car. No, it doesn’t fly, although it really should. Seriously — look at the advances in technology: smart phones, high-def flat screen TVs the size of a football field and games that allow me to bowl in my own living room, minus the ugly shoes. Why don’t our cars fly yet?!
But I digress. I have a magic car and her name is Snowbell.
My daughter and I named her as a show of gratitude for years of reliable service and minimal repairs. Maybe if we personalize her, she’ll hang in there for another few years. One can hope (with all my heart and crappy credit score) that will happen.
Durable Honda genes aside, Snowbell’s magic is a little less tangible than a well-built transmission. Looking at the photo you’re probably not impressed by the white sedan that looks like it hasn’t been washed in the past year. Can I help it if my favorite parking spot at work is near a tree full of angry little birds with questionable digestive issues?
Underneath the dents, scratches, wonky driver-side wiper and copious amounts of bird shit, the car is magic. Behold:
I have a typical crazy morning getting my willful child ready for school before dropping her off with an air kiss and a sigh of relief. My drive to work is only ten or fifteen minutes but in that time my mind clicks into problem-solving mode. With laser focus, I prioritize my agenda for the day and easily visualize the tasks being knocked down like bowling pins. (Again, minus the shoes.)
The months I spent writing my first (un-publishable) novel were some of the most energized I’ve ever had and many, many hours were spent in the car — the magic car — solving plot knots or adding new threads of the story. Passersby undoubtedly enjoyed watching the wild woman bouncing in her seat, slapping the steering wheel with literary inspiration.
After a long day at work I find myself cataloguing all the chores waiting at home. Willful child’s homework, dinner, leftover deadline writing for work. I am empowered with the determination to walk in the door and get it all done (without drama) and hit the sack in plenty of time to achieve those desired seven hours of sleep.
[Insert fist pump here]
The problem with a magic car is you have to leave it eventually. Often, actually. And when I step out of the car the magic goes the way of the exhaust coming out of her butt and into the atmosphere. I walk into work and find my schedule has been blown to hell and I promptly forget the first three items on my to-do list because I just want my coffee.
The mind-bending idea I had for my current Great American Novel eludes me when I sit to write it down. Texting-while-driving is illegal in Colorado so I assume fine-tuning-witty-dialog-while-driving is also frowned upon. The state patrol doesn’t recognize magic cars.
When I pull into the driveway, still full of ambition for the night ahead, a resigned part of my brain knows what will happen when I open the door. So I hand the house key to my kid and just sit there in my magic car for a few minutes, knowing I’m about to forget how productive I planned to be in the coming hours.
So what good is my magic car if I can’t capture those bursts of brilliance and motivation after I’ve closed the door and hit the remote-lock that only works on three of the four doors? Maybe that’s why some people live in their cars — they’re clinging to that mystical power of productivity!
Okay maybe not, but I have thought a lot about this (clearly) and I think I’ve hit upon the solution: I need a driver. If someone drove me around in my magic car I could sit in the back and write down every brainstorm as it hits, catch up on emails, work my social networking to an extent heretofore unexplored.
Let’s face it people, I could probably come up with a cure for cancer if I had a driver on a cross-country road trip.
Like the Beatles, I can’t actually afford to pay anyone to drive me around yet, but I’d definitely ante up a percentage of the Nobel prize I’m bound to win for that cancer thing. Serious applicants only need apply.