in an unexpected turn of events- i am now driving a 1990 vw jetta. mostly. the minivan is still an option. the white minivan, that seats seven, has a storage bullet on top, automatic windows and locks, adjustable gas peddle, and all the other gizmos Ford thought to put in a minivan made for american families right around y2k. it is reliable and sensible and totally awesome in so many ways. and makes me feel like a 37 year old mother of two.
ingrid- the jetta- was new in the year i turned 16. she is now 21 years old. her spirit is wild, although her body is showing her age. she has a sun roof that begs to frame the bright stars at night for anyone interested in tipping back and looking up.
do you imagine doing this? what's in your hand while you do this? beer, cigarette, joint...this car begs to be owned by a rebel. this is why i like her. ingrid is somewhat of a temptress. she dares you to drive faster than you should, have music louder than you should and be gone longer than you should.
also have a roomy trunk for trips to goodwill.
and ingrid has a stick shift. along with that- a clutch. i learned to drive a stick shift in my early twenties on basheeba loop-loop. an elephant disguised as an Isuzu Trooper- circa 87?- she was a lovely beast. A trip to the store felt like a jungle sarafi adventure, and getting her in gear was not always easy.
same goes for ingrid but the difference is that she is not about safari. as i mentioned already- she's more about cruising, speed, sharp turns and seeing if you really can go 140 mph- because that's how far the speedometer reads. with loud music. and slightly frightened children in the backseat.
i like the business of shifting that requires engagement with the task of driving. i have to decide when and how. how loud do i want to rev it? how quick do i want to pass that motor home? i am Driver. i like third gear the best.
actually- i just like shifting in general.
except when typing. the keyboard i mostly use for typing no longer sports the shift key on the left. i think cyrus ate it. well, he probably didn't eat it...but he most certainly flipped it off. and the little rubber circle is gone too. as he did to the arrow keys and the comma and the N...and the other key that i don't really know what it is anymore....except that it sends me to the next line when i touch it, but it's not return key. so i don't touch it often. but all those keys have the little rubber circle which still does what i want when i touch it. not the shift key on the left- it does nothing when i touch it. even if i whisper at it first.
when the shift key went missing i stopped capitalizing the letter i because i type that with my right hand and it's too awkward to hit the shift key with my pinkie and the i key with my pointer. try it. not smooth at all.
so "screw it" i thought. why do i need to be I? i can just be i, right? little i is the same as big I. i. I. you get the idea either way. now and then i started a sentence with "in" or "instead" or "ice berg." ok- maybe not ice berg, but whatever i-word it was it was not I-word. it was just i-word. and i started to like it. so i started to stop capitalizing completely.
e.e. cummings, for example. if i ever had a reason to write that name before now i don't remember doing so. but it looks so much nicer than E. E. Cummings. doesn't it?
my name: nancylee bouscher has a better form than Nancy Lee Bouscher. Although that L is looking lean and proud, i notice. but the second option requires much too much shifting. nancylee bouscher. i can type that really, really fast.
not capitalizing wasn't about denying my ego or wanting to look different or anything other than lazy fingers. and a missing shift key. it's to the point now that when i type of computers with left shift keys- i completely ignore them. even if they whisper at me.
and now i get the added benefit or having another way to add Emphasis to a word. like in winnie-the-pooh, how milne would capitalize very Important Ideas now and then. ideas that adults really liked mostly, if i remember right- and often i don't. so feel free to look that claim up.
besides both being called shifting, i'm not sure what these two acts- going from first to second gear and capitalizing letters- has much to do with me, except that i am currently doing and not doing a lot of them. and i'm in control of doing or not doing them.
and in a world where a small child can come and flip off letters from a mama writer's keyboard- well, hell, it's important to exercise those Shifting Abilities.