November 19, 2008

Around here

I traded in my Mustang for a Ranger. The pony was pushing 10 and starting to manifest intimations of mortality. There were just a few Rangers for sale at the dealer, I was surprised to find. Seems the little 4-cylinder classic is moving, albeit slower than in years past, so I got a pretty good deal. There were rows and rows of F150s and their bigger siblings. My first fuel-efficiency calibration on the new truck revealed an mpg score of 22 in mixed driving. About the same or a little better than the Mustang. The scooter gets close to 100.

Inspired by one of Uncle Zoloft's comments, I sprang for the pickup as a companion for Firefly, my main wheels now, which I can load on the Ranger, as a means of extending the scooter's range... and other truckin' tasks. Then it's on to some nearby town for a little leisurely and aimless exploring. I wouldn't be surprised if this agreeable pair of internal combustion companions were my last.

I generally have only a secondary interest, on these outings, in a place's claims to fame... its Opera House or Big Bridge. What I like most is cruising around the neighborhoods, the back streets, local parks and beaches, habituations of commerce, soaking up everyday life, taking in novel variations of the mundane. Living near affluence makes for a nice ride, the endless tree lined streets and waterfront enclaves. At first it posed a challenge to me as a photographer. What can one say about the pleasant? Eventually I got over it. Turns out there were a few things to be said after all.

Along the way, I'll stop at a fast-food place for a burger and coke, a pizza stand for a slice and a beer... quietly reveling in the joy of the readily available. It's an off-the-shelf life for me. On these treks the spirit, and my monkish temperament, join to appreciate, and sometimes bless, the world they see. I don't linger, indulge entanglement. Though in practice the meaning of those terms for me is more intuitive than not. You play it by ear, by heart, play it as it lays...