I have been working late the last few night, as we approach a launch. I drive home in our miata. It’s “new to me” and even though I only drive a few miles home, it brings me a great deal of joy.
Part of it is the engine and handling– I enjoy slushing around the speed bumps in the near-empty Yahoo parking lot. I like accelerating in the curve onto the highway. I love to pass. I love when I accelerate, I am pushed back into the bucket seat as if by a gentle invisible hand– it’s like a miniature version of an airplane takeoff.
I enjoy having a decent stereo for the first time in my life. I was blasting French-arab music and suddenly realize both that I was stunningly out of sync with my country (it’s odd I don’t know who coolplay is, I discovered in conversation last night with a product manager) and also that I really love that music’s complexity, which I could never hear before.
But most of all, I love top up/top down. I’ve had the cabriolet for a while, and I don’t really have to sing the praises of top down. Sun on your face, hair tangling, blue emptiness above you– it kinda sells itself. But top up in the miata is a very different experience. The cabriolet has a high roof. Top up is very like having a hard top car, quite comfortable and respectable. The miata has a very low roof, and top up the interior is a cave, especially at night. Driving home last night, I couldn’t understand why I was suffused with a sensation of comfort. I felt warm, protected, taken care off. Then I remembered Bachelard’s Poetics of Space and realized that the interior of the miata was poetically a nest.
Picture a nest with a bunch of baby birds and a mother sitting on them. Being sat upon doesn’t sound nice most of the time, but in the cup of the nest, with warm feathers of a living duvet tucking you in and providing parental “hugs” at the same time– it is a sensation I long for, especially after a brutal day. Better than a martini or a rough workout, to be nestled is what I dream of.
So I climb in the miata, top up, heat kicks on, the dashboard softly glows, the music comforts (news in the morning commute, music at night), the space is just the size of me and I am carried home.
In fact, even top down in the sun it is a nest– the mother bird has flown off and the nest is exposed to the sky, a hand cupping me as the sun falls on my face. I drive to work with the top down and slow traffic is no worry; the sky is nearly cloudless and I’m in no hurry to dive into the stresspot that awaits.
I wondered if having such a car for a commute made sense (though the mileage is fantastic). It seemed to me that it was a weekend car. But I’ve found that it is the salve to the wounds that work’s latest bout of intensity has been giving. I fought with Philippe over it– he leaned toward a practical vehicle. But I fought back– if one drives, which is (in my mind) a bit morally reprehensible (though my back requires it for awhile longer– the bike is still triggering spasms), then one should get pleasure out of the act of driving.
it may not be a VW, but it is still farfenugen.