Nearest, Furthest and Dearest Ones,
I am little threatened, a little scared, a little loathe to lose my highway. What I mean, of course, is that I prefer to continue to drive my car, and make my own mistakes, and not have to discuss too much of it with Hal. The car, for me, is a symbol of a kind of sovereignty. It is a wildly powerful machine, a car; and they let you first drive one in your formative years. Which might be why it will always feel to me a little like Christmas morning to pull the strap across my chest, bandolier-like, turn the key in the ignition, place my hands at 10 and 2 o'clock, and think: Is everything go? It will always feel like a fine beginning to me, like an adventure. Driving has never felt like a chore to be avoided, like cleaning grout or filing taxes. This, they tell me, is partly due to genetics, but I prefer the conceit of believing that it is my own personal choice to be a pirate, a gadabout, a pilgrim, and a gallivanter.
Did I tell you about the thing with the light bulbs? I abhor those efficient bulbs with their ghastly bluishdeath glow, and so I bought a C-note's worth of incandescent bulbs some years ago. Yes, it did feel like I had gone a little mad, hoarding light bulbs like that. And so we come to the automobile: Can I get a big box of older cars that will let me do the driving and just use them up for the next however many decades? Would that seem crazy to you?
By the time the self-driving car hits the shelves, I will be through with my mourning, because I am already seeing that what I really worry about, what I am most afraid we might lose, is not just the chance to drive along in an automobile, but some piece of being human. When I figure out precisely what human attribute I fear we are losing, you will hear from me, and we can try to save it together. In the interim, please enjoy these three songs: