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Two weeks from tomorrow, I leave Chicago for Kansas City and the Kansas City Fringe Festival. I’ll be driving, most likely by myself. My mom is attempting to talk me into taking her car, a Subaru Forester station wagon/SUV type thing. She wants me to drive her 2007 or 2008 Forester instead of my 1998 Toyota Corolla. The Corolla I like. The Corolla I’ve had since graduating from college. The Corolla covered in LGBT, leftist, and radical bumper stickers.
My mom’s logic is hard to refute: even though the gas millage isn’t quite as good on the Forester, it can hold more, is newer, has less millage, and rides more smoothly. At the same time, I like my Corolla. I want to drive my car to Kansas City and back (and then to Indy and back). Not her car.
If it were just that, I’d probably take my car. But I’m every-so-slightly worried about my car being covered in COEXIST bumper stickers, in Civil Marriage is a Civil Right, in Howard Brown (hearts) Lesbians, in labor rights and equal rights and gay rights stickers all across the back bumper, the trunk, and curving around the sides of the car. (I like bumper stickers. So sue me.)
I’ve never been to Kansas City, and don’t know the neighborhood in which I’ll be performing or staying. And I’m slightly nervous about leaving my car out on the street, with out of state plates and covered in ‘look at me!’ stickers.
I emailed the woman I’m staying with:
Concerning my car, it’s kiinnnnndaa covered in bumper stickers about union rights, gay marriage, all that jazz. Do you think that’d be cool in your neighborhood, or should I borrow a friend’s car?
And her reply:
Well, shoot, if you have your own car, you’ll be totally safe. We are inner city, but we are in a pretty safe area as long as you’re not wandering around on foot by yourself at night. I walk around my hood by myself regularly (during the day) and unless you have a phoebia of black people, then you’ll be fine.
That definitely reassures me some, but not 100%.
My current plan is to, first and foremost, see what my mechanic says when I take the car in later this week for an oil change. If he says “Um, driving 1,000+ miles round trip in a few weeks, and then another 500+ round trip in August, is a bad idea,” then I’ll probably just take my mom’s. If he says “Go for it,” I think I want to do some more research on the KC neighborhood in which I’ll be staying, and maybe some Google Street View stalking of the area.
But it is moments like this when I question exactly how far on my sleeve I’ve chosen to wear my heart. And I really don’t like that feeling of doubt or second guessing.
PS – Sorry for the very uncreative post title… Can’t have ‘em all be winners.