Just As I Thought

The Car of the Past

Day two with my little Audi, and it is taking some getting used to.

Day two with my little Audi, and it is taking some getting used to.
The Prius has spoiled me by being such an easy car to deal with that I’d forgotten all the annoyances of a regular vehicle.
Prius doesn’t have traditional brakes, really, so I never had to worry about replacing them. No key to insert and turn to start it, so no keys dangling down to hit your legs. Controls on the steering wheel so you are never distracted by changing the radio station. Speedometer large, digital, and directly in your line of vision so you don’t speed. Headlights simply turn off when you power down the car rather than go through all the nonsense of beeping or running down the battery.
The Audi? None of the above. I’m having trouble figuring out my speed because I keep looking at the tachometer instead of the speedometer. I feel like the tach should be on the right side instead of the left. I have to concentrate to read the speedometer because it is a standard dial gauge with notations every 20 miles. 0… 20… 40… 60… and when the speed limits are 25, 35, 45, and 50 it is impossible to make out the hash marks and figure out how fast you’re going. There is no “at a glance” on this car.
It’s not that the Audi is a bad car, it’s just that I have been out of the loop and spoiled for so long with the car of the future that almost drives itself.
The Audi has taken up residence in my garage, where it fits with room to spare — unlike the Prius, which was only an inch away from the door and had to be backed in in order to make room for the driver’s side door to open.
In order to keep the driveway clear so I can drive the Audi, the Prius is living on the street in front of my house. I look out at her, standing all alone under the tree until I make myself feel bad. It’s just a car, right? It has no feelings, no loyalty, no emotions despite its artificial intelligence. And yet, I feel sad. She was my baby, and she still is — as fun and cool as the Audi is, I will never be as devoted to it as I was to my Prius and Kate, its insistent yet gentle navigation voice.

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