i start my new job on sunday. that means i have 5 days to loiter in port angeles and think about horrible things like THE FUTURE and WHAT I AM DOING WITH MY LIFE. i decided today, on a nice long walk to radio shack (to replace the coaxial cable for the antenna my parents use to get canadian television stations) (so my mom can watch dancing with the stars) (maybe the only tv show besides the academy awards and twin peaks i have ever seen her express any interest in) and then along the waterfront, that one way to avoid thinking about big important things is to think about how i need a car. not so i can drive to radio shack or the waterfront–every place in port angeles is incredibly close to every other place–but to drive to work. the current transportation plan involves me taking a bus at 6 am to a stop not actually on the route and then riding my bike from there to the ranger station and arriving about an hour before my shift actually starts. because in pa the buses come at the very useful interval of every hour and a half OR whenever they feel like it. then, about an hour and a half after my shift ENDS i can flag down the bus coming back at the unofficial stop on the highway. okay, so seriously this wouldn’t be THAT bad if i didn’t have to get up at 5:30 am. there are some things i hate: protracted good byes, serious talks involving other people telling me what it is they don’t like about me,drinking milk, jon bullock and getting up when it is still dark outside. i hate that. like a lot. so much that i am totally willing to spend every single cent i have not to do it. oh also i hate money. so buying a car could basically kill 2 birds with one speeding ton of metal.

the last time i really had a car i was 18 and i still lived at home. once, before my parents got so militant (in a GOOD way) about only having one car, they let me borrow one of their cars for half the summer. and about two years ago my grandma loaned me her car for a month. but other than that i have basically always been car-less. my parents have been pretty much against me driving at all ever since i was 13 and i smashed their new subaru into a brick wall at the carwash in corvallis. this was an unfortunate thing to have happen because it meant that a) my parents were scared of driving with me and wouldn’t even START teaching me until i had my permit and i had taken all of drivers’ ed (which included driving to the coast) (unsafe if your only driving experience is driving quickly in a straight line, ending in a brick wall); b) all of my friends were convinced i was an awful driver before i even ever drove (again) and c) i was completely psyched out by all of this and turned out to be a pretty sucky driver who had a habit of backing into and denting other people’s property. i am pretty sure, now that i am a little more removed from the whole smashing-up the new car thing, that any 13-year-old who was ridiculous enough to convince her mom to let her drive through the carwash would have destroyed the family vehicle in a similar fashion and it really wasn’t completely my fault. but now it’s been so long since i have driven consistently that i am on the verge of forgetting how. and while i know cars are making a mess out of the planet and everything, the ability to drive is still a good skill to have. one thing i really don’t want to be is a 30-year-old woman who says things like “oh, i don’t drive”. especially if the apocalypse comes and the only way to save myself is to drive a suburban through the burning remains of new york city. i don’t want to die so unnecessarily.

there are other reasons for me to get my own car this summer: i could go to seattle whenever i wanted to visit my friends there; i could drive back to california at the end of the summer and SELL the car; i would have a way to get around when my parents invariably leave for the weekend; i would have a car.

anyway. this is what i have decided to focus all of my energy on instead of having a email/telephone love affair with someone i actually am not even slightly a little bit into, like i did LAST time i spent a serious amount of time at my parents’ house. and my dad is planning to charge me per mile to drive their car anyway, so this makes sense, right?

don’t worry. it’s not going to happen. but i’ll keep you updated just in case.

***ps*** i had my first port angeles celebrity sighting tonight at the chinese restaurant by my parents’ house: tess gallagher (obviously). i resisted the urge to ask her where raymond carver is buried. i can find that out on my own.