Thursday, September 01, 2005

Good Timing: Gas Prices Go Crazy

Last week, before the gas prices went through the roof, and with amazing foresight, I decided to embark on my "Car-free, Carefree" program -- trying to get everywhere without my car.

Little did I know that within a week, the full tank of gas I paid $2.47/gallon for last week (and was busy NOT using) would become a rare, collectible museum piece -- as gas prices here post-Hurricane Katrina have gone through the roof.

I made good progress using my two feet, my bike, the bus, the T and figuring out how many alternative modes of transit there are.

By Monday, I noticed when I did have to use my car for an errand that I couldn't do in any other way, that I had made a weird psychological shift in my head and felt like driving a car was unpleasant and other drivers really unpleasant. I had started to think like a pedestrian, not a driver. I felt like the car was a big hulking, in-your-face, rude, obnoxious monster I was dragging around. Yes, it was handy for the task I needed, but something in me had snapped and I found the whole experience of driving in a big mass of traffic with all the other pushy motor vehiclists, the parking hysteria, the racing the yellow light routine, all of it turned me OFF.

I missed the very slow going of really seeing the neighborhood as I walked to my destination. BUT my plan wasn't without it's "speed bumps" so to speak. I hurt my ankle and it was probably from too much walking. I'm resting up today so my ankle and leg can take it easy and get used to a new level of demand. I feel like my leg is saying, "you really want us to WALK this much?!?" like I must be kidding or something. My answer back is, "YES!"