Jolene gets a carwash
The car I bought for my my road trip last spring is a rusty piece of shit. Well, underneath it is. The exterior looks more or less fine, which is why I was foolish enough to buy the damn thing. Next time I'll do my due diligence. Allison and I named the car Jolene—Allison thought it would help me hate the car less if it had a name. Sort of like a dog, I guess, or a kid. It worked. Now I sort of even feel affectionate toward the ol' gal. But the mechanics I took her to on the West Coast were universally appalled when they saw the disgraceful condition of Jolene's undercarriage. At least three different guys told me they'd NEVER seen rust like that in their entire illustrious car-repairing careers. One of them seemed downright angry about it—that someone had neglected a car to that degree, then pawned it off on some poor sap who didn't even know enough about buying a car to check the underside for rust. And I had been angry too, at first—but I just can't stay mad at poor Jolene now that she has a name. She just needs somebody to take better care of her. And now that Allison and I are back in Rochester, in the snow and ice and SALT, which of course is what caused Jolene's alarming corrosion to begin with, Jolene is going to get regular cleanings. Before we set out, Allison said she thought getting a coffee and going through the carwash sounded "cozy," and I almost agreed, but the truth is I probably inherited my father's aversion to the whole car-washing process, which seems like an ordeal really (what if you don't pull onto the conveyer belt correctly or accidentally leave your windows open a crack or something?). And once we were actually inside, Allison said that as a little girl she'd been "terrified" of carwashes, which I said was the appropriate feeling. It left me wondering, however, what the cozy part was. It must have been the idea of drinking coffee while we watched all those huge foamy brushes go to work around us ... but we'd neglected get any.