Thursday, October 22, 2020

What Is Old is New

 On Sunday I wrote about the pumpkin, one of the things I did at my parents' house that day. But then the story continued.

On the way home I experienced something I had happen to me a few decades ago, but I recognized it instantly.  I had just turned onto Warren Avenue, maybe a mile from home, when suddenly my car became very noisy.  Both a roar and a rumble.  The last time I experienced that was in Pennsylvania, summer of '94 I think.  I was making my twice yearly trip from Carbondale to New Jersey, and pulled off the interstate into a rest stop.   Took care of business, got back in my car and started it up, and it sounded like the world was coming to an end.  My best guess was that I had lost my muffler.  Shut down the car and went back, and saw the tailpipe still there.  That's good. Started it up, and the noise returned.  Shut things down again and went back out of the car.  I crawled down by the back of my car, felt the muffler, and realized it was hanging loosely.  Thought about trying to secure it in place, but found it was hanging by just an unsecured bracket, and decided (since it wasn't serving any particular function), just to take the item, stick it in my trunk, and continue east.  With windows up, surrounded by trucks, I hadn't even noticed it wasn't working, so I figured no one else would notice or care.  And no one did.  Got home, and had my warranty with me, so a few days later I got the muffler replaced at the shop where I had gotten it. 

From that experience I knew that a car could function without a muffler, but very noisily.  I continued my trip home from Manasquan and parked in my assigned spot.  The next day it rained, so I didn't want to go deal with it.  The day after that I checked it out.  

My muffler was still there, but the exhaust pipe was barely there.  Everything was hanging low, barely off the ground.  I might not need the muffler to operate the engine, but I didn't want to try driving the car too far in this condition.  And I needed to get the exhaust system repaired.  Sought recommendations for nearby repairs, and got a place my brother recommended, and made an appointment.

That was for early this morning, so I was up with the sun, the car started, and went to the repair place without any new incidents.  Left the car and the keys.  Checked back an hour later, and they had figured the problem and the repair would be quick and inexpensive.  Picked up my much quieter car in the afternoon, and even took it on a short errand to make sure it was fine. Eventually I will need to replace the whole exhaust system, but this repair will cover me for a while.  

So what does this have to do with art?  First, that initial trip was on the way back from Carbondale, where I earned my MFA. It seems like many of my stories include Carbondale- it was that kind of town.  Second, having no car makes it difficult to do anything, such as get to my Studio.  I have a bunch of other problems to deal with right now, but if I had a new piece I had to work on, I'd be able to get there to do it. 


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