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Windows: Oh, My Rogue

Naomi Raskin

When I glance at the speedometer again, I see another message has taken its place. A red message. I have a feeling I do not like red messages

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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t’s reassuring you haven’t disappeared,” my friend texts.
I make a face at my device because that’s not a very suitable response to “What’s up?” And it’s also sort of false, because I have disappeared, beneath tasks that are supposed to get done in this kingdom of multitasking. But my womanhood fails me, and I’m left unloading trays of eggshell-dotted cookies from the oven, and forgetting about dear old friends.

The situation worsens after our recent move. Suddenly there are more daily activities involving another thing that fails me: decisions. And then there’s an entirely different category called New People to Meet. That category has a lot of names in it. Disappearing text messages from old friends turn into snarky, “Which cave are you hiding in?” responses.

I am in the midst of sorting through this when our Toyota Camry begins vibrating violently on the highway. It’s time for a new car, and this is one decision I want nothing to do with. My husband makes the pick, and one blustery Sunday afternoon, a sleek black beauty glides up the driveway.

I get acquainted with the beast, named Nissan Rogue, when I need to be in New Jersey for the day. That old Toyota Camry was great for the streets of Brooklyn; its scratches and scuffs worn like prized war medals. It wasn’t the best fit for suburbia, or for a girl with anxieties of cars breaking down on endless stretches of highway.

I flick on the blinkers of the Rogue to turn onto the highway and tap my fingers on the steering wheel to the beat of the blinkers. Even the blinkers in this car have this classy ring to them. And then there I am, on the runway onto the highway, watching the numbers climb on the speedometer.

It is quite fascinating to see cars that are mere specks in the mirrors remaining mere specks. They do not turn into huge, tailing vehicles that soon enough turn on their blinkers and weave in and out in front of me. And then I am distracted by how high I am; I need to actually look down to see the cars, through the bottom of my eyes.

I suddenly glance at the speedometer and, my goodness, I’m going 95. I slam on the brake and the car jerks forward. Okay, I tell myself, you need to keep your eye on the speedometer because this car will not alert you through sighs and coughs and shivers that you’re going too fast. These qualities are not possessed in models beyond the 2001 varieties. This is a good thing, I assure myself. This car is fluid and swift. It’s okay to keep adjusting your speed.

I do. I keep looking down at the speedometer. And that is when I notice the yellow words in the center of the dashboard. Air tire pressure low, it glows. My hands start sweating a little around the leather wheel. What does air pressure mean? My fingers automatically grope for my phone. My husband will know and will certainly assure me that there never was nor will ever be headlines of a Nissan Rogue with four flats crunching across the highway on the grating metal shells of the tires. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 568)

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