Hi, my name is Mark, and I don’t own a car. This is a conscious decision that I have made, not owning a car. It is not that I can’t drive. I consider myself a pretty good driver, having only been in one accident ever in my life, involving only the corner of a small parking garage wall which suddenly LEAPED out at the side of the car and scraped up the door, which of course was in somebody else’s car (sorry Gitig!). I enjoy driving very much, in fact, especially when I’ve got some sweet R&B or hip-hop or electronic music bumping. When I was a youth, I used to cruise through the streets of my hood at night just so I could drive, zone out, chill, and listen to music.
In college, and beyond, (8 or 9 years total) I have been essentially car-less, although I drive other people’s cars now and then, or rent a car to go wine-tasting in Mendocino or drive to San Francisco, or drive the vehicles at my work. Frequently enough so that I can maintain my driving skillz and feed the fix of the open road. But I do not personally own and possess one of these vehicles, nor, in fact, do I truly desire to own one of these vehicles. OK, yes, if I was a millionaire, I would probably have a car or two. But money isn’t the only reason why I do not own a car.
The fact is that I refuse to own a car. That’s right. I’m one of those idealist people, somebody who enacts diminutive changes to their personal lives in order to fulfill idealist fantasies of the way the world should be.
In case you are interested in what kind of insanity I might suffer from that compels me to throw away my social life and all chances at success in meeting hot and successful American women, here are my reasons:
1) Since when did a luxury item become a necessity?
2) I produce a substantial amount of waste simply by shitting every day. I don’t really care to produce any more than that by polluting the air with yet another car.
3) I refuse to give in to the dominance in my society of the greedy auto and oil industries, who basically have controlled and shaped all of our lifestyles, products, and city planning.
4) I don’t even know how to fix the damn thing. I don’t know how an engine works. Why would I want to own this thing that requires constant maintenance and upkeep if I can’t fix it myself?
I haven’t exactly been living in the greatest places for carlessness. I’ve lived in San Diego, Los Angeles, and now South Lake Tahoe, none of which has adequate, integrated, nor extensive public transportation systems. And so my social life has suffered, and I have been at the mercy of others in order to “go out.” Basically, I’m pretty much restricted to the social sphere of where I live and where I work, both of which, right now, are combined. This is fine, this is dandy. But where one lives and works can become restrictive after some time if there are not all that many womenfolk thereabouts.
I need to live somewhere where I can walk or bike to the local market. I need to live somewhere where I will not be stigmatized by attractive women because I do not have a sleek oil guzzling machine. I need to live somewhere where I can hop on a bus or subway or whatever and get to where I want to go! Dammit!
But such is the price one must pay to live according to ideals, no?