Bye, bye car!

Until just a few hours ago, I was the proud lessee of an amazing Mitsubishi Lancer. It was red and looked mean. It wasn’t common and it was all mine.

At some point in the last four years, that car had been my dining room, dressing room, studio and safety deposit box.

I did sell it to a couple and managed to make a couple of bucks off the sale, but that’s really no consolation to losing something I’ve loved for so long. I imagine this is what people who break up go through when they sell their partner to someone else and make some money. Right? That’s what happens?

I convinced myself for a few minutes yesterday that I could be car-less for a little while. I work downtown. I can walk to the train station every morning and get to the city in 25 minutes or less. But that’s 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. What do I do evenings? Weekends?

This is what I had the pleasure of driving for the last four years. Clearly the man photographed is not me, as he is neither texting nor eating at the wheel.

In all honesty, my social life probably wouldn’t take a hit, because it was/is nonexistent. But still. I’ve been car-less for less than four hours and I’m nervous about what I’m going to do. I have a train pass that I can use on the metro (subway) and buses, but I’m really not a metro and bus kind of guy. Public transit is just not for me. I don’t like sharing food. You think I like sharing breathing space?

It should be noted that I attract the commuters who love telling their life stories to other passengers. And weird old men who fall asleep and rest their heads on other people’s shoulders. And missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who ask me about my faith and if I’d be interested in meeting other youths to discuss God and life. Or morons who offer me a tuna sandwich after they bit it.

Those are just a handful of the misadventures I’ve had on Montreal buses, which I’ve only taken a handful of times. And these are all things that have happened. I imagine that I’m much better looking, or funnier or fitter than I actually am, but public transit obscenities are too serious to exaggerate about.

I thought the train, being cleaner and more expensive to ride, would exempt me from the inconveniences of regular/easily-accessible public transit. Surely, people wouldn’t eat Chinese food or cheeseburgers on a train, right? Or clip their fingernails? Or make long distance calls on their cell phones? Wrong. I’ve witnessed people doing all of this multiple times.

Word of advice: if you are sitting next to someone and they answer their phone and ask their pal “So what’s new,” just pick up your stuff and move. It’s going to be a long ass call.

Getting rid of my car got me thinking about how much my life has changed in the last four years since I got the Lancer. To start, I was 18 years old, studying Commerce and International Business at Vanier. I was also working at a mundane albeit easy supervisory job at a Blockbuster store on Montreal’s West Island. I’m now 22, studying Journalism and Political Science at Concordia University. I have a variety of jobs, only a few of which actually pay me. But they’re fulfilling and stuff, and I don’t have to deal with spoiled children asking me where they can find Over The Hedge 2 and then tell their parents to yell at me when I tell them that the movie does not exist.

I have been looking for a car for the last month, because I just wasn’t sure if I was going to keep the Lancer or sell it. Frankly, I’ve yet to be wowed by anything that I can afford. So the search continues for a well-equipped and reasonably-priced car that is age-appropriate and not hideous-looking. Am I reaching for the stars here?


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