footing it

My car is broken.


Over the past few months, the car that I drive every day has been rebelling against me in a serious way. It started slowly, sometimes not cranking immediately, but then sometimes the engine would purr like a contented cat.


And now, sometimes the car will stop suddenly in the middle of the road without warning. I always react to this in the exact same way, hazard lights on, frantic hands in the air, head looking around side-to-side searching for… something? and with an on-going line of conversation that always goes something like “what I wouldn’t give for access to AAA right now. I’ve never even purchased AAA, but here I would definitely have it.”


I’m not surprised. The roads are always treacherous in a million different ways; even though I cannot recall the last time I drove at a speed greater than 50 mph. If I hit a newly paved space of open road that allows me to go 60kph, it’s basically a Christmas morning celebration.


But now, I’m footing it (walking) a few times a week. (I don’t know why we don’t use this phrase more. I find myself going out of my way to try to slip it into everyday conversations.) I will make phones calls on the way, or if I am feeling especially bold, write emails. I tend to shake my head “no” at the taxi’s that drive by, and then always spend the final 10 minutes of my walk thinking, that $8 would have been really well spent. I should’ve said yes. Folks always tell me either that it is good to get the exercise or that it is too far for me to walk. Both of which always seem to translate into “I’ve been noticing you could do to walk off a few pounds.”


Mostly, though I am 100% more normal while footing it than when driving. There is much less dodging in and out of middle-of-the-road craters, definitely, but even more than that, I rarely have to make any sort of frantic gestures while traveling on foot.